CML Want More From Bank OF England

Bank OF England

Bank OF England: The latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show the number of mortgages being lent for house purchase, declined to its lowest level for 16 years in February 2008. The CML’s mortgage figures for the 3 months to February 2008, at a combined 163,000, are the lowest for any quarter since early 1992. CML also reported that there are now just 4,270 different mortgage deals on the market compared with 15,599 last July 2007.

Bank OF England: Steven Crawshaw, the chairman of the CML is requiring more action from the Bank of England to tackle the credit squeeze, and to help lenders provide home buyers with mortgages. Mr Crawshaw is requesting the Bank of England to contribute further liquidity into the markets, as the US Federal Reserve has done, to assist American financial institutions.

He pointed out that lenders were strenuous efforts to deliver mortgages to as many customers as possible within the funding limits. He denied charges that banks were hoarding liquidity as they did not trust one another and in agreement said, we think that lenders are hoarding liquidity because they’re concerned about whether they will be able to access future funding, and are managing pipelines of business very cautiously.

Mortgage funding could be cut by half, if no extra funding comes from the Bank of England. Steven Crawshaw, in a speech at the CML’s annual lunch said, “Without attracting new funding sources, we will see an ongoing process of attrition in mortgage choice, possibly over a protracted period, with lenders managing down demand by tightening lending criteria, increasing price or withdrawing more products from the market altogether.”

The CML is calling on the Bank of England to take ‘broader’ action such as putting incentives in place, to kick-start the mortgage market and to support mortgage –based securities funding.

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