Lynda Blackwell, ex-mortgage manager at the Financial Conduct Authority and consultant at Thistle Dhu, has criticised the regulator over its lack of ambition in its 51-page Mortgages Market Study out this week.
She said: “This paper was an opportunity to address some of the fundamental issues facing the mortgage market but it has fallen far short.
“Rather than face some uncomfortable truths, the FCA appears to have chosen the path of least resistance – the market must be breathing a huge sigh of relief.”
She continued that the paper points out some well-worn points like the lack of technological ambition and said it lacks ‘bite’.
“The regulator has failed to address the detriment caused to consumers as a result of massive funding imbalances that create a dangerously lop-sided market. The self-employed, less credit-worthy and older borrowers are increasingly less well served every day this issue goes unaddressed,” she added.
Blackwell said the paper acknowledged that commercial relationships play a part in intermediary access to products, but does not grasp this nettle.
“The dominance of some lenders and some intermediaries is unhealthy – anyone who has been in the market for any real length of time knows it. These are hard things to unpick, they are not straightforward and technology and innovation cannot be produced as an easy catch-all answer to the problems they pose,” she said.
“That does not mean the regulator should not try. This paper suggests [it has] not tried hard enough.”
Victoria is group editor, Mortgage Solutions and Your Mortgage at AE3 Media.
Previous titles include editor of What Mortgage and Credit Today and a stint freelancing for various titles, including The Guardian, Which? and Money.co.uk