Affordability is key says mortgage regulator

12 February 2004
The Mortgage Code Compliance Board (MCCB) has today said that while the issues of "suitability" and "affordability" are important in the mortgage sales process it is worried that the BBC's Money Programme did not reflect what actually happens in selling mortgages.

Luke March, chief executive of the regulator, said: "MCCB is concerned that some of the issues raised and the content of the programme do not accurately reflect industry practices and processes or indeed MCCB's own experience as regulator."

The organisation said that there is some evidence of an increase in self-certification mortgages, but added: "There is nothing wrong with such mortgages in principle, because they are well suited to some categories of homebuyer, particularly the self-employed and contract workers, and those individuals with extra income sources such as regular bonus or commission earnings."

The MCCB has reminded people that it is a criminal offence to lie about your income, or for an institution to encourage a customer to lie.

Concerning the BBC2 Money Programme broadcast on October 29th last year the industry watchdog said it is "disappointed" that the BBC has not released the "evidence" of alleged mortgage fraud, which it claimed to have uncovered. It added that it "hopes that this is not a reflection on the robustness of the evidence".

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published a review of self-certification lending and has concluded that "lenders have adequate controls in place" to protect themselves from fraudulent applications.