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Treasury written question – answered on 24th October 2019.

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Photo of Scott Mann Scott Mann Conservative, North Cornwall

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps the Government is taking to improve accessibility to the mortgage market for (a) self-employed people and (b) small business owners.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The Government is committed to maintaining an accessible mortgage market. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which is responsible for regulating the market and protecting consumers, found in their Mortgage Market Study, published March 2019, that the market is working well and that consumers have access to mortgages that are suitable and affordable.

The FCA recognises that lenders should have flexibility to decide what type of evidence of income they can accept from customers, including those who are self-employed or have alternative sources of income.

Many lenders also offer custom mortgage products designed for contractors, the self-employed and small business owners. These commonly include features designed to account for income volatility, such as the ability to make capital repayments at any time, or income assessments using averaged figures to smooth out monthly variations.

Beyond the FCA’s regulations, decisions about the type and availability of mortgage products are commercial decisions for lenders, and the Government does not seek to intervene in these decisions.

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