Bob Hunt, CEO of Paradigm Mortgage Services, has actively championed the DA community since the launch of Paradigm in 2007. Both publically, and behind the scenes, Bob works hard to use his experience and influence to ensure appropriate recognition and fair treatment for intermediaries in a range of areas, from Proc fees and quality metrics to product access and dual pricing. Paradigm has proved that despite tough market conditions it is possible to not only compete against other larger scale more established Distributors, but in creating a new model of distributor – a partnership model – to reward firms for the consistency, quality and loyalty of their business support.

Bob’s latest article is available below, and there is an extensive Blog Archive including all past articles.


16 Oct 2018

Not following EU rules could benefit the market

In the months to come there will be many attempts to guess what Brexit means for the UK economy as a whole, and specifically for us, the mortgage industry.

In particular, I suspect there will be many who believe the UK’s leaving of the EU will mean something of a ‘toning down’ of the regulation surrounding the market, after all – the argument will go – many of our rules and laws come via EU Directives rather than ‘home grown’ measures.

Clearly, judging by recent comments from the chair of the FCA, Charles Randall, the regulator does not want such a view to become the prevailing one. Quite the opposite it would seem given that Randall talked about Brexit not precipitating a ‘race to the bottom in regulatory standards’.

Indeed, Randall seemed keen to suggest that regulation would be improved and, dare I say it, ratcheted up. We have known for some time that the FCA sees itself as the leading regulator in the world and, as Randall puts it, wants “to continue to influence global standards of financial regulation”.

That, to me, suggests the FCA may not take too kindly to the kind of Brexit view that sees the UK leaving the EU as an opportunity to pull back and repeal regulation that has been introduced, specifically over the past decade.

Of course, in the short-term nothing is likely to change anyway as all EU law is moved into UK law, albeit with the opportunity to change the rules and regulations that the financial services industry has to follow because it comes from a European source.

At what pace any changes might follow is anyone’s guess but, even if you are a fervent Remainer, there could be some mortgage market areas which might benefit from our not being subject to EU law.

At the recent FSE London exhibition, a discussion took place around the importance of protection advice and sales, and whether the ‘protection gap’ could be bridged if more lenders, for instance, insisted on a degree of protection cover in order for a borrower to secure the mortgage.

Robert Sinclair of AMI pointed out that any sort of ‘bundled product’ proposition currently fell foul of EU law, which is why lenders were currently not involved in such a move, however he felt that Brexit could precipitate a move away from such regulation, allowing lenders to deliver this type of mortgage/protection hybrid that could perhaps make it easier for advisers to have the protection conversation, especially if it is at the insistence of the lender.

There’s also been much talk recently about the position of so-called ‘mortgage prisoners’ and how they are not able to move off their current rates because they do not meet the more stringent affordability criteria brought in, for example, by the Mortgage Credit Directive. This despite never having missed a mortgage payment and despite them wanting to move to a lower rate which would actually make their monthly payment that much lower.

The fact that this is the case seems completely counter-intuitive and I’m sure all advisers reading this have come across cases where they couldn’t move a client to a cheaper rate because of this problem.

Support for ‘mortgage prisoners’ is ramping up with lenders communicating with them, pointing them in the direction of advisers, and hopefully seeing them through to a positive conclusion, but at the heart of this issue is the affordability criteria that lenders have had to adopt.

Again, if the UK financial service industry is no longer beholden to these EU-based rules, there could be scope to take a more lenient line on affordability, specifically for those ‘prisoners’ who are a) not borrowing any more, and b) can show a strong history of repayment.

These are just two examples where a more tailored approach to UK-specific issues could be beneficial in a post-Brexit environment, however – given the recent comments from Randall – if you were anticipating a ‘bonfire of the regulations’ from the end of March 2019, then you’re likely to be disappointed.

Our sector – quite rightly – will remain heavily regulated but perhaps with the opportunity for a number of smaller tweaks which could help those currently sidelined by the current rules.


Bob Hunt

Blog Archive

Simply focusing on age will not fix borrowing into retirement 
22 Dec 2015

Reduce the regulatory burden for firms by reallocating money from FCA fines 
03 Nov 2015

Customer choice has narrowed – the FCA could help fix this 
02 Nov 2015

The regulator’s differing interpretations of rules 
21 Oct 2015

Change is constant 
08 Oct 2015

Paradigm signs exclusive specialist lending deal with Brightstar 
06 Oct 2015

Landlords cash in on PRS 
22 Sep 2015

MCD – no grace but plenty of favours 
16 Sep 2015

Equity release success signals change in consumer perspective 
05 Aug 2015

Remortgagers play at ‘chicken or egg’ 
29 Jul 2015

BTL has closed the housing gap 
20 Jul 2015

Analysis: Writing a will can avoid a death blow 
15 Jul 2015

Industry deserves housing minister appointed to Cabinet 
22 Jun 2015

Waiving Stamp Duty won't encourage downsizing 
08 Jun 2015

Damned if they do, damned if they don’t 
01 Jun 2015

In the Spotlight with Bob Hunt 
26 May 2015

Election result provides stability 
20 May 2015

‘Grey borrower’ power is set to grow 
13 May 2015

Decisive election result could spur new build revolution 
27 Apr 2015

MMR 12 months on 
13 Apr 2015

Mind the protection gap 
09 Apr 2015

Analysis: Change status with the right support 
08 Apr 2015

Housing will be election battleground 
16 Mar 2015

Securing the specialist string to your bow 
04 Mar 2015

Interest rate direction is anyone’s guess 
04 Mar 2015

Regulatory B2L change is inevitable 
12 Feb 2015

Analysis: Do your homework with relationships 
04 Feb 2015

Lenders rising to the self-employed challenge 
04 Feb 2015

The sectors to watch in 2015 
06 Jan 2015

A helping hand 
05 Jan 2015

Can a landlord be truly ‘accidental’? 
17 Dec 2014

Coming in from the cold 
05 Dec 2014

Analysis: Why distribution demands inclusion 
12 Nov 2014

HSBC’s move signals cost of branch advice still rising 
20 Oct 2014

Analysis: Broker community boosted by HSBC 
15 Oct 2014

Just when I thought I was out 
08 Sep 2014

Analysis: Owning a home is not out of reach 
03 Sep 2014

Take level 4 advice exams before the FCA steps in 
02 Sep 2014

Analysis: Get set for more BoE intervention 
20 Aug 2014

Welcome to the Twilight Zone 
11 Aug 2014

Housing policy deserves seat at top table – Bob Hunt 
24 Jul 2014

MMR is enough to slow the bubble 
09 Jul 2014

Help to Buy remains in the spotlight 
08 Jul 2014

Mixed messages risk consumer confusion - Bob Hunt 
03 Jul 2014

It’s good to talk 
20 Jun 2014

H2B a rare housing policy success 
18 Jun 2014

Increasing mortgage volume will come through brokers - Bob Hunt 
27 May 2014

The better option to going direct 
14 May 2014

FCA concerned by packaging renaissance 
12 May 2014

Watch out for European regulation by year-end 
06 May 2014

Ask the Experts: Will MMR cause mass application declines? 
22 Apr 2014

Ask the Experts: Can a broker operate MMR-compliantly before 26 April? 
17 Apr 2014

Cross-sales not just for times of crisis 
16 Apr 2014

Brokers in the dock 
26 Mar 2014

Lenders in catch 22 situation over MMR - Bob Hunt 
25 Mar 2014

Paradigm launches protection arm 
21 Mar 2014

‘MMR Day’ may be a damp squib 
12 Mar 2014

Make sure your papers are in order 
12 Mar 2014

MMR lending slowdown could force protection bonanza 
18 Feb 2014

Countdown to MMR 
12 Feb 2014

A big year ahead for lenders 
04 Feb 2014

If the quality is same – why can’t AR & DA proc fees be equalised? 
30 Jan 2014

BoE is unlikely to be trigger-happy 
15 Jan 2014

We’re not in 2008 anymore 
09 Jan 2014

FCA cannot ignore views of smaller firms 
13 Dec 2013

The Prediction Game 
06 Dec 2013

Stay ahead of the regulator with CPD 
27 Nov 2013

Don’t let booming business hamper MMR preparation 
21 Nov 2013

Living up to expectations 
15 Nov 2013

MMR compliance underpins success 
30 Oct 2013

Advisers should step up to level 4 qualifications 
24 Oct 2013

Bank of England must follow words with actions 
02 Oct 2013

Lean times leave a leaner, keener core 
04 Sep 2013

If you don't ask lenders, you don't get 
22 Aug 2013

Steady as she goes is the right approach 
20 Aug 2013

Are we about to see a broker boom? 
16 Jul 2013

Now is not the time for procrastination 
10 Jul 2013

Improving standards is no grounds for complaint 
03 Jul 2013

Is product innovation being tied in knots? 
24 Jun 2013

We can’t rely on external stimulus 
06 Jun 2013

Put your services in the shop window 
06 Jun 2013

Mutual Magic 
30 May 2013

Does the FCA understand human frailty? 
07 May 2013

Has the mortgage market regained its mojo? 
17 Apr 2013

Help to Buy plus prudence equals prosperity 
05 Apr 2013

Will George Osborne be having a flutter ahead of the Budget? 
14 Mar 2013

Size matters on capital adequacy 
04 Mar 2013

Mortgage Indemnity Guarantees: helping first-time buyers fly 
19 Feb 2013

HS2? I’d rather see more houses built instead 
06 Feb 2013

95% LTV mortgages are not back... yet 
22 Jan 2013

Regulators have listened to feedback 
21 Jan 2013

The Great House Price Debate 
07 Jan 2013

Keeping your clients' wills up to date 
02 Jan 2013