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Press release
 

Integration of EU mortgage market should benefit the public directly

Economic and monetary affairs - 14-11-2006 - 16:26
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MEPs say a well-focused integration of the market would bring benefits to consumers. They adopted a report on the issue on Tuesday, which was drawn up by John Purvis (EPP-ED, UK), as Parliament’s response to a Commission discussion paper on the mortgage market.

The report says that any EU level action should aim principally at directly improving the situation for the public, notably by widening access to mortgages, for example to people with fixed term contracts.  Stressing the need for extensive consultation in deciding on any EU action,  MEPs say there are numerous obstacles to a single retail market in mortgages and call on the Commission to focus on targeted measures offering the greatest benefits, via market-led initiatives wherever possible.
 
Parliament calls for harmonisation of provisions for pre-contractual information  noting that if lenders offer credit in a Member State other than their own, this information must be available in the language(s) of the consumer’s Member State. The Commission should consider making the existing Code of Conduct in this area mandatory if early compliance is not forthcoming  says the report. Lenders should make available information on all the costs involved, not just the interest rate.
 
MEPs stress the importance of a single, open and compatible funding market as a first priority, as a way to diversify risk, boost efficiency and reduce costs. They urge the Commission to examine the legal and technical barriers to such a development, and support action to abolish discriminatory tax obstacles, such as different fiscal treatment of local and foreign lenders. They support the Commission’s action to facilitate cross-border mergers in financial services, while noting that these in themselves will not promote integration of the retail market.
 
Parliament recognises the important role of mortgage brokers and similar intermediaries and supports the Commission's commitment  to consult on an appropriate regulatory environment for them.
 
REF.: 20061113IPR12526