What was said in the House of Lords?
Liberal Democrat Lord Sharkey submitted a question to the House of Lords asking what action the Government intended to take to ensure that those holding mortgages sold after the 2008 financial crisis to Cerberus – a firm that doesn’t offer new mortgages – receive a fair deal, and are able to access good value fixed rate mortgages.
Lord Bates, Minister for International Development said: “The Government believe that better deals should not be beyond the reach of customers who continue to pay their mortgage. The Treasury is working closely with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and industry to explore what options are available to help customers with inactive lenders.”
He also later added: “We have tried to find how we can help that situation. We are working with the FCA—we are aware of the representations being made—and will continue to do so. My honourable friend the Economic Secretary to the Treasury will be writing further on this important issue.”
But Lord Davies of Oldham was highly critical of Lords Bates’ response, saying: “My Lords, the months and years slip by. The Minister says that every constructive effort is being made, but there is precious little in the way of a solution to this problem for these mortgage holders.
“When a question involves a number of people in considerable difficulty and relates to difficulties with the banking and mortgage sector over a decade, it behoves the Minister to produce a better response than that we are looking four or five years ahead before we have made even a significant gesture.”