Mortgage lenders ‘must treat customers fairly’

Mortgage lenders need to ensure they treat their customers fairly during the current economic downturn, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has stated.

Retail markets managing director of the body Jon Pain made the comments during a speech at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ annual conference, noting that banks and building societies need to “focus on the fair treatment of [their] customers when they go into arrears”.

He also urged lenders to review their arrears policy to make sure it meets mortgage rules and to only use repossession action as a last resort when all other possible courses of action have been exhausted.

Those struggling financially and fearing repossession of their home or bankruptcy may welcome Mr Pain’s comments, as such borrowers may benefit from a review of practices by lenders.

A further cut in interest rates has been revealed by an Adfero poll of 11 financial experts.

All members expect a reduction of at least 0.5 per cent, a move which could result in increased mortgage availability.

By Tom Musk

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