Byrne addresses European Mortgage Federation Conference

05 December 2003
European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection David Byrne has given a speech on the consumer aspects of mortgage lending to the European Mortgage Federation Conference.

He began by talking about the consumer aspects of mortgage lending and the future of more expensive credit as well as cross-border mortgage credit in the European Union.

Mr Byrne moved onto the subject of the Code of Conduct for Home Loans and its implementation. He expressed concern at the low numbers of creditors complying with the code. He acknowledged that the mortgage industry intends to take steps to improve the industry, but noted that this did not bode well for the image of self-regulation in the field of financial services.

Moving on to the topic of the Forum Group on mortgage credit he noted that its deliberations are far from complete, but that to increase cross-border mortgages there needs to be product transparency, comparability and low-cost yet efficient redress measures in case of disputes.

He outlined current European discussions on mortgages and the reasons for low levels of cross-border activity

Mr Byrne concluded by stating that mortgages are the single most important economic transaction a consumer may undertake and by noting that increased competition would be beneficial.