CML frustrated at buy-to-let proposal from European Directive

5th September 2014

Today, the Treasury issued a consultation on how the UK will implement the requirements of the European Mortgage Credit Directive, which needs to be fully implemented by March 2016.

The CML looks forward to working with the Treasury and with the Financial Conduct Authority to minimise disruption, especially given that UK mortgage regulation has only recently been completely overhauled.

While welcoming the consultation, the CML is disappointed that the Treasury has found it necessary to make a U-turn on buy-to let. Having previously believed that the UK would be able to achieve the necessary framework through voluntary mechanisms, the Government now believes that to comply with the Directive it has no choice but to impose national law on part of the buy-to-let market (see explainer).

The CML hopes that the forthcoming consultation from the Financial Conduct Authority will be published shortly, as that will cover the proposed detail of the changes that will most affect the mortgage market. The CML will wish to see how the FCA proposes to amend its requirements to reflect the Directive before responding formally to both consultations.

Paul Smee, CML director general, comments:

"With the mortgage market review out of the way, we now enter round two of regulatory change as a result of the European Mortgage Directive. We are hopeful that most of the impact should be modest, as much of it was anticipated and helpfully built in to the new rules in the first place.

It is frustrating though that, despite earlier assurances, the buy-to-let position turns out not to have been adequately resolved, resulting in a new proposal for regulating part of the buy-to-let mortgage market. The regulatory regime now being proposed is based not on any evidence of a need for additional consumer protection, but purely on ensuring that the European legal requirements are met."

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