Wednesday, September 29, 1999 Published at 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
Business: Your Money
Mortgage lenders face summit quiz
Home-buyers will have greater protection, says Mr Byers
Mortgage lenders will be made to answer for their treatment of borrowers, a government minister has pledged.
Mr Byers told the Labour Party Conference in Bournemouth borrowers deserve a fair deal.
"The real options and penalties must be spelled out," he said.
They have also come under fire for selling inappropriate mortgages.
Mr Byers told the conference: "Next month I will be holding a mortgage summit with the major banks and building societies to identify the steps they need to take to discharge their responsibilities."
"Tories turned their back on the scandal of pensions mis-selling. Our government will act to stop mortgage mis-selling," he pledged.
At the summit, Mr Byers will demand to know why repeated interest rate cuts by the Bank of England have not been followed by rate falls in the high street.
Regulation of mortgage lending is already being considered by Parliament. The Financial Services and Markets Bill gives ministers powers to bring mortgages under the control of the Financial Services Authority.
Two days before Mr Byers's speech, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said it wanted to simplify the current patchwork of regulation into a single framework under the new Financial Services Act.
The Consumers' Association also says home lending must be brought within the remit of the Financial Services Authority.
Earlier this month the Office of Fair Trading warned estate agents against unfair practices such as pressuring homebuyers into buying mortgages and other financial services.
And the Local Government Association said an investigation found 95% of mortgage brokers were breaking the voluntary code of practice.
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