07 MAY 2019

Presenting a Bill to free the mortgage prisoners

I proposed a new law to free mortgage prisoners trapped in expensive deals today.

I introduced the Banking (Consumer and Small Business Protection) Bill in a Ten-Minute Rule motion in the House of Commons. It aims to help up to 200,000 mortgage prisoners across the UK impacted by affordability tests brought in after the financial crash.

In many cases they stipulate homeowners can't afford to pay less than they are currently paying – while others had their mortgages sold off to unregulated "vulture funds". The new laws would exempt reliable borrowers from the affordability tests payments – and ban the Treasury and lenders from selling mortgage deals to unregulated funds.

It's time to set the mortgage prisoners free. Every one of these 200,000 families affected has a story of how they have struggled to get by. Struggled to meet expensive payments to keep a roof over their heads.

It's insulting for them to be told they cannot afford to pay less. The Government should be lending a helping hand, not a tin ear. Capitalism is vital to the success of our economy and a cornerstone of our way of life.

Yet we know that it must be tempered by responsibility and fairness. We want people who work hard to be able to enjoy success. Yet we will not tolerate people being taken advantage of.

The Banking (Consumer and Small Business Protection) Bill also aims to protect small business borrowers and create a new Financial Services Tribunal.

Currently business loans above £25,000 are unregulated. The bill would ban the practise of seizing on technical loan condition breaches where borrowers are up to date with payments.

Meanwhile a new Financial Services Tribunal would allow small businesses to take on big banks. Currently many are too big to use the Financial Ombudsman Service, but too small to be able to afford expensive court battles.

Small businesses are the lifeblood and job creators of our economy. Every time a small business closes, part of our economy dies. We need to see them treated fairly so they focus on doing what they do best – creating jobs and making our country stronger and more successful.


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Charlie Elphicke

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