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Regulation of mortgage business

Factsheet

Publication date:

31 January 2017

Last updated:

29 October 2018

Author(s):

Richard Fox, Brad Baker

Regulation of the conduct of business in mortgage selling is the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) is responsible for the prudent operation of the financial system through regulation of all deposit-taking institutions, insurers and investment banks.

Last updated by the author in January 2017 and reflects the rule changes arising from the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) that came into effect in 2016. Firms have until 2019 to transition in some of these changes.

Contents

Introduction

This fact file looks at how the conduct of mortgage business is regulated, with respect to both lenders and intermediary firms. The prudential regulation of mortgage intermediaries is covered in a separate fact file,  The regulation of mortgage intermediaries. For the regulatory structure as a whole see the fact file The regulatory framework.

Summary

Regulation of the conduct of business in mortgage selling is the responsibility of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) is responsible for the prudent operation of the financial system through regulation of all deposit-taking institutions, insurers and investment banks.

The FCA's rules specific to mortgage business are contained in the Mortgage Conduct of Business Sourcebook (MCOB). The rules contained within MCOB cover:

  • the general conduct of business standards
  • the rules applicable to financial promotion
  • advising and selling standards
  • the various disclosures to be made to customers at particular stages of the process
  • the additional requirements for the sale of equity release products
  • Rules relating to responsible lending, charges and the treatment of customers who fall into arrears

MCOB also details, with examples, the disclosure documentation to be provided to the customer.

MCOB has been recently updated to reflect additional regulatory elements required by the Mortgage Credit Directive - Europe wide regulatory standards that came into effect in 2016.

Firms regulated by the FCA have to comply with all of the requirements set out elsewhere in the FCA and PRA Handbooks. Sections of the FCA Handbook deal with training and competency, money laundering and dispute resolution and also detail the way in which the FCA operates as a regulator of the market. These aspects are covered in the authorisation, supervision, and enforcement manuals within the Handbook. A shorter, tailored version of the Handbook sets out the key areas applicable to registered mortgage businesses.

Product providers and intermediaries must embed the principle of treating customers fairly into their business as part of the firm's culture. The principle is part of the regulator's supervision process and sits within the responsibilities of a firm's senior management.

Regulated firms are required to report to the FCA on their activities at defined intervals, the length of these depending on the size of the firm.

Regulatory structure

The FCA is responsible for all regulatory aspects of mortgage selling and lending Including equity release and home purchase plans.

The FCA is empowered under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to make rules and issue guidance in order to achieve the objectives set for it in the Act. These rules are established in the FCA's Handbook of rules and guidance. The most important sections relating to mortgage business are outlined below. For further, more general information on the Handbook see the separate fact file The regulatory framework. A shorter, tailored version of the Handbook sets out the key areas applicable to registered mortgage businesses.

Coverage of rules

The definition of a regulated mortgage is set out in article 61 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Regulated Activities) Order 2001 as a contract whereby the lender provides credit to an individual or to trustees and the following conditions are both met:

  • The loan is secured by a first legal mortgage on land in the UK (other than timeshare)
  • At least 40% of the land is used as a dwelling by the borrower or a close relative

The lending may be for:

  • house purchase
  • home improvements
  • debt consolidation
  • business lending to sole traders and partnerships in England and Wales
  • secured overdrafts and secured credit cards
  • secured bridging loan

In other words the purpose of the loan is not relevant - it is the fact that it is secured on the home that matters.

There are also two separate categories of mortgage. These are referred to as standard mortgages and niche market products. Niche products cover equity release, house purchase plans, sale and rent back, bridging finance, & high net worth and business lending.

Standard and niche market mortgage products are two entirely separate mortgage categories and are also treated differently as far as risk assessment is concerned, being referred to as "standard risk" and "higher risk" respectively. These different definitions affect the application of particular rules covering training and product disclosure.

The business activities regulated by the FCA are:

  • mortgage lending
  • mortgage administration
  • advising on mortgages
  • arranging mortgages

Authorisation

To conduct any regulated activity a firm must either hold authorisation or be classified as "exempt". An appointed representative of a regulated firm is exempt as the authorisation (and compliance responsibilities) rests with the registered firm.

Lenders are required to ensure that all business submitted to them through intermediaries comes from firms who are themselves authorised by the FCA. This can be done by checking that the intermediary is entered on the Financial Services Register.

Further information on the prudential regulation of mortgage intermediaries can be found in the fact file  The regulation of mortgage intermediaries.

General application of the Handbook

MCOB chapter 1 summarises the application of the Handbook to firms carrying out regulated mortgage activities and firms that communicate or approve qualifying credit promotions.

Key to the FCA's arrangements for regulating the market is the application of high-level principles. For all regulated firms the requirements are set out in the Principles for Businesses (PRIN).

Firms are required to meet high-level standards as set out in PRIN 2.1.

Principles for businesses

1

Integrity

Firms must conduct business with integrity.

2

Skill, care and diligence

Firms must conduct business with due skill, care and diligence.

3

Management and control

Including adequate risk management systems.

4

Financial prudence

Firms must maintain adequate financial resources.

5

Market conduct

Firms must observe proper standards of market conduct.

6

Customers' interests

Firms must pay due respect to the interests of customers and treat them fairly.

7

Communications with clients

These must be clear, fair and not misleading

8

Conflicts of interest

Firms must manage conflicts of interest fairly, both between themselves and the customers and between customers and other clients.

9

Customers' relationships of trust

Firms must take reasonable care to ensure the suitability of advice.

10

Clients' assets

Clients' assets should be adequately and properly protected.

11

Relations with regulators

Firms must be open and co-operative, and must disclose to the regulator appropriately anything relating to them of which the regulator would reasonably expect notice.

The section Statements of Principle and Code of Practice for Approved Persons (APER) applies to every approved person.

Approved persons are required themselves to meet high standards. Rule 2.1.A of the code of practice states that "An approved person must act with integrity in carrying out his/her accountable function". Individuals must also:

  • act with due skill care and diligence
  • observe proper standards of market conduct
  • deal with regulators in an open and cooperative manner
  • ensure that, if they are performing a significant function (or as the FCA would say, a "significant influence function"), it is controlled effectively
  • exercise due skill and care in managing the business of the firm for which they are responsible
  • take reasonable steps to implement adequate and appropriate systems and controls in their accountable function to comply with relevant requirements

Senior management arrangements, systems and controls

The sourcebook on Senior management arrangements, systems and controls  (SYSC) sets out in detail how arrangements must be put in place to ensure that a firm maintains adequate control over its business activities. Compliance with the rules is the responsibility of senior management and approved persons can be held personally responsible for failings.

The rules cover key areas where the FCA would expect controls to be defined in areas including:

  • organisation
  • compliance arrangements
  • risk assessment
  • management information
  • employees and agents
  • an audit committee
  • an internal audit function
  • business strategy - forward thinking
  • remuneration policies
  • business continuity
  • record keeping

Training and competence

The training and competence requirements are set out in the Training and Competence Sourcebook. It is the responsibility of all authorised firms to ensure that, for all employees:

individuals are appropriately supervised at all times - with a higher level of supervision in place before they have been deemed competent by the firm have clear criteria and procedures in place relating to the specific point at which the employee is assessed as competent in order to be able to demonstrate when and why a reduced level of supervision may be considered appropriate. At all stage firms should consider the level of relevant experience of an employee when determining the level of supervision required. A firm must ensure that an employee does not carry on an activity detailed in the Soucebook's new Appendix 1 (other than an overseeing activity) for which there is a qualification requirement without first attaining the relevant regulatory module of an appropriate qualification. Professional qualifications are an important part of the competence criteria and the requirements have over time  been progressively strengthened by the regulator.

For mortgages the activities requiring specific qualifications are advising; arranging (bringing about) an execution-only sale, excluding variations to an existing home finance transaction except where the effect is to change all or part of the home finance transaction from one interest rate to another (product switches). Additionally those designing scripted questions for execution-only sales and those overseeing execution only sales must also have appropriate qualifications. .

For these individuals the FCA rules impose specific requirements regarding recruitment, examinations, training, attaining and maintaining competence, supervision and record keeping.

A list of accepted qualifications for each area of regulated activities is provided in an appendix to the sourcebook and is regularly updated.

The Mortgage Conduct of Business Sourcebook

This section looks at the most important areas of the detailed conduct rules contained within The Mortgage Conduct of Business Sourcebook  (MCOB). The sourcebook is separated into 14 main chapters, as follows. Significant changes in some aspects have been made as a result of the Mortgage Credit Directive in 2016. This is shown in the table below where a section A or B also now applies. Some of these changes are discussed in this updated fact-file.

The Mortgage Conduct of Business Sourcebook

MCOB 1

Application and purpose

MCOB 2

Conduct of business standards: general

MCOB 2A

Mortgage Credit Directive

MCOB 3A and 3B

Financial promotion

MCOB 4 and 4A

Advising and selling standards

MCOB 5 and 5A

Pre-application disclosure

MCOB 6 and 6A

Disclosure at the offer stage

MCOB 7 and 7A and 7B

Disclosure at start of contract and after sale including new MCD requirements for further advances

MCOB 8

Equity Release: advising and selling standards

MCOB 9

Equity Release: product disclosure

MCOB 10 and 10A

Annual percentage rate

MCOB 11 and 11A

Responsible lending& responsible charging of Home Purchase Plans

MCOB 12

Charges

MCOB 13

Arrears and repossessions

MCOB 14

Provisions of the MCD in respect of credit arrangements

The MCD is designed to promote a single European market for mortgages and to protect consumers. Its requirements were adopted within FCA regulations in 2016.

Its main provisions are:

  • Some buy to let mortgages will now become regulated by the FCA
  • A move towards transitioning to a standard set of disclosure information via a European Standardised Information Sheet (ESIS)
  • New requirements relating to foreign currency loans
  • Introduction of a 7 day reflection period for the customer to compare offers and assess implications - this will need to be incorporated into the conveyancing process
  • During this consideration period the credit agreement cannot be withdrawn
  • The MCD introduces the requirement that advisers' remuneration must not depend on achieving sales targets

Financial promotion (MCOB 3)

Broadly the definition of a financial promotion is "an invitation or inducement to engage in a regulated activity". The rules in MCOB 3 apply to every firm which communicates or approves a qualifying credit promotion.

A qualifying credit promotion is any invitation or inducement that relates to qualifying credit, that is, where the lender is a person who enters into or administers regulated mortgage contracts and the obligation of the borrower is secured (in whole or in part) on land. The invitation or inducement must be to enter into an agreement which involves providing, arranging or advising on the qualifying credit. So qualifying credit encompasses more than just regulated mortgage contracts; it includes all credit secured on land where the lender is a provider of regulated mortgage contracts. This covers, for example, second charges and unsecured credit where provided in conjunction with a secured loan.

In order for the rules to apply there has to be an invitation or inducement to a consumer to take up an offer related to qualifying credit. That invitation or inducement comes by way of a "communication".

There are many ways of communicating a qualifying credit promotion. The communication may be in a newspaper or magazine, in a product brochure, on television, on the web, by a direct mailshot, by telemarketing, in a face-to-face discussion, in written correspondence, in sales aids, in presentations to groups of customers or in other publications containing non-personal recommendations. Essentially the method of communication is not restricted.

Communications are classed as either "real-time" or "non-real-time" In essence, a real-time communication will involve interactive dialogue - such as a personal visit or a telephone call, although we also have interactive websites and television, which would count as real-time too, if truly interactive.

Other types of communication which give information but do not have an interactive element or the ability to generate an immediate response to the promotion are likely to be classed as non-real-time. This includes letters, e-mails, websites, television, radio, teletext, newspapers and other periodicals.

Some categories of advertisement are classed as exempt promotions. Such an advertisement may only contain one or more of the following:

  • the name of the firm
  • a logo
  • a contact point and a brief, factual statement of the firm's main occupation

The financial promotion rules are complex in their application and specialist skills may be needed to ensure all of the correct detail set out in MCOB 3 is correctly included. Financial promotions may also be subject to other statutory reports and guidelines outside the remit of the FCA; for example, Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) Codes, unfair trading regulations and the requirements of overseas regulators where marketing is being aimed at overseas customers.

Non-real-time promotions

A non-real-time promotion must:

  • contain the firm's name and contact point
  • ensure the promotion is clear, fair and not misleading
  • when including a comparison or contrast ensure it compares like with like
  • ensure that any product feature is balanced by showing the benefits and possible disadvantages with the same prominence
  • avoid the use of small print to qualify prominent claims

There are also requirements for risk warning statements for standard mortgages, lifetime mortgages, debt consolidation and foreign currency mortgages.

The calculation of annual percentage rates has been revisited in the FCA's rules and chapter 10 sets out the various equations that are to be used in calculating these when used in promotions.

All non-real-time promotions must be approved by an authorised person.

An exempt firm (for example an appointed representative) must have any financial promotions approved by an authorised person.

Real-time promotions

Real-time promotions are split into two important categories: solicited and non-solicited real-time promotions.

A solicited real-time promotion is one where the recipient has initiated the interaction or one that takes place in response to an express request from the recipient.

Customers will not be regarded as expressly requesting a call, visit or dialogue because they:

  • omit to indicate that they do not wish to receive any or any further visits or calls or engage in any or any further dialogue or
  • agree to standard terms that state that such visits, calls or dialogues will take place - unless they have indicated clearly that, in addition to agreeing to the terms, they are willing for them to take place

An unsolicited real-time qualifying credit promotion is anything that is not solicited.

MCOB 3 contains a ban on unsolicited real-time qualifying credit promotions unless the communication is an exempt promotion.

Where a solicited real-time promotion is communicated it must meet a number of specific requirements. These relate to the structure of the promotion rather than the content. Such promotions must:

  • be clear, fair and not misleading
  • not make any untrue claims
  • make clear the purpose of the promotion at the initial point of communication
  • identify the promoter and provide a named person for an appointment or contact point
  • not be undertaken at an unsocial hour or use an unlisted telephone number (unless this has been previously agreed)

In addition the customer must be happy to receive the promotion. If not it should be immediately terminated.

The MCD introduces new requirements that are mandatory for financial promotions in MCOB 3A.5.  

  • FCA rules require the issue of the European Standardised Information Sheet (ESIS) by March 2019 - this replaces the old Key Facts Illustration (KFI). Firms can choose to issue the ESIS from now. New information requirements include:Information on the 7day right of reflection
  • Information on the APRC and the borrowing rate where the interest rate is variable
  • Extra information for foreign currency loans, including an illustration of the impact of a 20% change in the exchange rate

Advising and selling standards

Following the MMR revisions becoming effective in April 2014 significant changes resulted in the prescribed mortgage sales process.

Mortgage sales now have to be advised sales, with some exceptions - namely, online and postal mortgage sales, sales to high-net worth individuals, business loans, sales to mortgage professionals, and switches of rate/mortgage term (for example, on expiry of deals) as long as the loan amount is not increased.

An advised sales process is therefore the default position under the new rules for both lenders and intermediaries and all sales involving face to face or telephone dialogue with a customer will need to be advised. Further, advised sales are mandatory for certain groups of consumers deemed at higher risk of detriment - that is, those involved in equity release, right to buy, sale and lease back deals, and those mortgaging or remortgaging for the purpose of consolidating debt.

The non-advised sales process was removed from the regulator's MCOB sourcebook of rules. However, consumers who wish to do so can proactively opt out of the advice process and use an "execution-only" route. Firms that provide this route will need a clearly defined policy for such business which sets out how they will explain to customers the protections that are being lost by following such a process.

Initial disclosure documents

Following the new rules, it is no longer compulsory for firms to provide customers with an initial disclosure document (IDD), although firms can still do so should they wish. There is now instead a new focus on the key messages that are being verbally brought to the customer's attention. The regulator has provided guidance within the rules on how firms should describe their service offering and scope of service to their customers and also the firm's method of remuneration.

This is covered in MCOB 4.4A.

Suitability of recommendations

Details can be found in MCOB 4.7A

A firm must take reasonable care to ensure the suitability of its advice (principle 9 of the general Principles for Businesses).

If a firm gives advice to a particular customer to enter into a regulated mortgage contract, or to vary an existing regulated mortgage contract, it must take reasonable steps to ensure that the regulated mortgage contract is, or after the variation will be, suitable for that customer.

Suitability considerations are detailed in this chapter of MCOB, and include:

  • whether the customer's requirements appear to be within the mortgage lender's known eligibility criteria for the regulated mortgage contract
  • whether it is appropriate for the customer to have an interest-only mortgage, a repayment mortgage, or a combination of the two
  • whether it is appropriate for the customer to take out a regulated mortgage contract for a particular term
  • whether it is appropriate for the customer to have stability in the amount of required payments, especially having regard to the impact on the customer of significant interest rate changes in the future
  • whether it is appropriate for the customer to have their payments minimised at the outset
  • whether it is appropriate for the customer to make early repayments
  • whether it is appropriate for the customer to have any other features of a regulated mortgage contract
  • whether the regulated mortgage contract is appropriate, based on the information provided by the customer as to his credit history and
  • whether it is appropriate for the customer to pay any fees or charges in relation to the regulated mortgage contract up front, rather than adding them to the sum advanced

Specific suitability considerations are included for bridging finance, interest only lending, debt consolidation and for further advances to regulated mortgage contracts.

If a customer chooses to reject the advice given by a firm and instead wishes to enter into a different regulated mortgage contract as an execution-only sale, the firm may enter into or arrange that contract as an execution-only sale provided the requirements for this are satisfied.

The MMR changes have introduced a more robust and holistic approach for affordability assessment and income validation.

From April 2014 the responsibility for assessing affordability for a mortgage rests solely with the lender - with previously relevant requirements of intermediaries being removed. This makes very clear that the lender is responsible for affordability assessment in every case.

Underwriting principles for good lending apply:

  • there must be reasonable expectation that the customer can repay, without relying on future house price rises [which are uncertain]
  • the assessment should allow for potential future rises in interest rates

Regulatory concerns on sub-prime selling

Sub-prime lending has been identified as a category where the highest-risk lending occurs. Credit conditions have led to a significant reduction in the scale of this market particularly in view of the capital requirements for lenders wishing to engage in this type of business.

Self-certification sales

Difficult credit conditions and concerns over loan performance led to a big reduction in the numbers of lenders prepared to consider a self-certification proposition. Lenders now require proof of income.

Illustrations

MCOB 5 covers "pre-application disclosure" .Firms no longer have to provide a key facts illustration (KFI) every time it provides a customer with specific product information. A KFI need only be issued when a product is recommended, where the customer requests one, or where the customer has indicated the product they want in an execution-only sale. Intermediaries need only record the advice provided if recommending a deal that is available only directly from a lender. In other words, it is not necessary for a KFI to be provided by the intermediary in such circumstances.

Whilst more flexibility is available to the firm when providing information to the customer, with the old KFI requirements being relaxed, the information provided must still be "clear, fair and not misleading".

The principles within the general Principles for Businesses relevant to the key facts illustration are 6 and 7, to treat customers fairly and in communication with customers to be always clear, fair and not misleading and to pay due regard to their information needs (MCOB 5.4). The illustration must be an accurate reflection of the costs of the regulated mortgage contract.

The information to be included in the key facts illustration is specified in MCOB 5. The illustration can only contain the information allowed under the chapter, in the same order and using the same headings contained in the example provided by the FCA (MCOB 5 annex 1).

There are 14 sections that must be included in a key facts illustration for a standard mortgage. There are further requirements for loans without a set term or repayment schedule and new risk warnings for standard, foreign currency, shared appreciation and deferred interest loans. The FCA devotes 145 rules of separate guidance notes to the content of the illustration (MCOB 5.6124R-5.6.145R). Key factors are:

  • The template illustration must be personalised so that it reflects the customer's requirements.
  • The illustration must be accurate within 1% or £1, whichever is the greater, below the actual figures charged by the lender for the total amount payable, the amount payable for every £1 borrowed, the regular instalment amount and the amount by which a regular instalment would increase following a 1% rise in the interest rate.

The illustration must be provided in "a durable medium" (MCOB 5.4.12) or be capable of being stored on the hard drive of a customer's computer.

  • An illustration must not be given to a customer who is ineligible for the mortgage contract being illustrated (MCOB 5.4.8R)
  • An illustration must be issued to the customer before an application is submitted 5.1.7/5.3.1/5.5.1/5.5.2)
  • The illustration must be separate from all other material provided to a customer (5.6.5R)

The firm providing the illustration must explain the importance of the document (5.4.10R).

  • A record of all illustrations must be retained for at least one year - but this does not include illustrations issued to customers who do not apply for the corresponding mortgage
  • The illustration should include details of all compulsory tied products , or these details must be provided as soon as possible after application (5.4.23/5.6.74)

The European Standardised Information Sheet (ESIS) must be issued by firms by March 2019, although firms can choose to issue the ESIS ahead of this date. The MCD brings in additional disclosure requirements for lenders and intermediaries detailed in MCOB 5A

Under the MCD firms must provide an adequate explanation of the proposed mortgage contract and any ancillary services including:

  • Pre-contract information
  • Essential features of the product
  • Potential impact on the consumer - including implications if defaulting

Execution-only mortgage sales

As stated above, the non-advised sales process has been removed from the regulator's sourcebook of rules. However, consumers who wish to do so can proactively opt out of the advice process and use an "execution-only" route. Firms that provide this route will need a clearly defined policy for such business which sets out how they will explain to customers the protections that are being lost by following such a process.

The requirement to act in the customer's best interests remains paramount.

The rules for execution only business are in MCOB 4.8A.

Treating customers fairly

The concept of Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) is based on principle 6 of the regulator's Principles for businesses, that a firm must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly. TCF applies to both product providers and intermediaries and is being built into the FSA supervision process in that the regulator will expect to see TCF embedded into the culture of a regulated firm. There are no additional, specific rules to deal with TCF; rather it will be a matter of regarding the embedding and practice of TCF as a part of the responsibilities of senior management, with existing specific rules being removed where the regulator considers that the subject of the rule can be left to management.

It is important to understand what TCF is not. It is not:

  • being "nice" to customers or creating satisfied customers
  • all firms being required to offer the same or highest levels of service
  • inhibiting innovation in new products
  • firms having to design or market different products for each customer
  • the FCA being an arbiter of what products customers should want or be sold
  • customers no longer being expected to take decisions or to take responsibility for their decisions
  • creating new rules or obligations for firms, or compliance checklists
  • a continuous ratcheting up of standards across all firms or making all firms match best practice
  • the FCA becoming an economic regulator
  • making firms adopt the same or bureaucratic processes
  • collecting large amounts of management information

What TCF is about is:

  • disclosure of clear, useful information about products and services to enable consumers to understand what is being offered
  • firms designing products for their target markets
  • effective complaint handling

The areas covered by TCF through the life cycle of a product include:

  • product design
  • marketing, including promotional material and disclosures
  • the sales process
  • the way staff are remunerated
  • information and customer support after the sale
  • complaint handling
  • management information

The regulator is encouraging the mortgage market to focus on three particular areas:

  • product design
  • clarity of disclosure
  • remuneration strategy for advisers

TCF will continue to be a priority for the regulator and is regarded by the regulator as a key element in its principles-based approach to regulation. The aim of principles-based regulation is, where possible, to remove prescriptive rules and replace them with a series of "outcomes". These should be achieved by firms using as a base statements of good and poor practice and case studies issued by the regulator, together with industry codes and guidelines provided by trade associations.

Financial Ombudsman Service

All regulated mortgage contract business is now subject to the complaint and dispute escalation arrangements through the Financial Ombudsman Service, which are detailed in the Dispute Resolution Sourcebook (DISP). These rules set out the service standards that are required in dealing with complaints, and firms are required to report their complaints routinely to the regulator.

For further information on the Financial Ombudsman Service see the separate fact file on The regulatory framework.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme exists to meet claims from customers where a firm has closed/ceased trading and is unable to do so. The scheme is funded by levies determined primarily by the level of claims arising from the particular area of regulated activity.

For further information on the Financial Services Compensation Scheme see the separate fact file on  The regulatory framework

Reporting requirements

The FCA's collection of information from regulated firms is focused on helping them to:

  • assess a firm's compliance with the threshold and prudential requirements
  • understand the business being undertaken and the risks posed

All returns must be made electronically and must be submitted within the prescribed period; fines will be levied whenever deadlines are missed by up to 28 days, longer delays will lead to disciplinary action. These rules are contained in the Supervision Manual (SUP).

Reporting is required on, for example:

  • changes to "standing data" , in other words, addresses and contact information
  • changes in the controllers of the firm
  • financial Information - balance sheet, profit and loss, capital, professional indemnity cover, client money account (if applicable)
  • threshold conditions - verifying that firms' obligations have been met
  • training and competence - numbers of advisers and their; qualifications
  • MCOB requirements - which includes the monitoring of appointed representatives and other sources of business
  • complaints

Lenders have additional reporting requirements to meet relating to transaction details. In terms of each transaction the following details are required:

  • FCA reference number of intermediary
  • whether sale is advised or non-advised
  • postcode
  • type of product
  • age of first-named customer
  • size of loan and value of property
  • status of borrower
  • purpose of remortgage
  • repayment method
  • employment type and income
  • whether self-certified or not
  • number and value of county court judgments
  • whether subject to individual voluntary arrangements or bankruptcy orders within the last three years

Further information

Legislation

Directives

Rules

Other publications

  • A practical guide to the FSA's regulation of mortgages. 1st ed. Old Woking, Surrey: City & Financial, 2004
  • A practitioner's guide to mortgage regulation. Chris Cummings et al. London: City & Financial, 2007
  • Mortgage regulation for individuals. Jonathan Denton et al. Croydon: LexisNexis UK, 2004

Useful websites

webpage_icon Financial Services Register »

This document is believed to be accurate but is not intended as a basis of knowledge upon which advice can be given. Neither the author (personal or corporate), the CII group, local institute or Society, or any of the officers or employees of those organisations accept any responsibility for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from action as a result of the data or opinions included in this material. Opinions expressed are those of the author or authors and not necessarily those of the CII group, local institutes, or Societies.