Today (8 March 2021) in committee stage of the Financial Services Bill I will be putting forward an amendment to prohibit the sale of mortgage loan books from authorised to non authorised entities.
The amendment in full:
Insert the following new Clause—
“Sale of mortgage loan books –
(1) The Secretary of State must, within 3 months after the date of the passing of this Act, lay before both Houses of Parliament draft regulations to prohibit the sale of mortgage loan books from authorised to non-authorised entities.
(2) Regulations under subsection (1) are subject to the affirmative procedure.”Amendment 127, Committee Stage Day 5, Financial Services Bill, House of Lords, 8 March 2021
The amendment is aimed at prohibiting the pernicious practice of selling off mortgage loan books to, well, anyone really. Non authorisation, seemingly, is not a problem currently from the regulator’s perspective. It seems an extraordinary loophole which enables such sales to persist, leaving those involved, correctly described as mortgage prisoners. The amendment would effectively and efficiently prevent any other people being imprisoned in this manner.
I have also put my name to an amendment with colleagues, Lord Balmacara and Lord Sharkey that would put a cap on charges for mortgage prisoners. This new Clause would require the FCA to introduce a cap on the Standard Variable Rates charged to consumers who cannot switch to a different lender because of their characteristics and who have a regulated mortgage contract with either and inactive lender or an unregulated entity.
Taken together, these changes to the bill would put the shocking and unacceptable situation in which people find themselves mortgage prisoners firmly in the past. I sincerely hope the government is listening, for all those current prisoners and for all those who would be imprisoned appallingly in the future if they fail to act.
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