FLS should be expanded to non bank lenders

Alan Cleary, managing director of Precise, asked the panel if it believed the scheme should be extended to include lenders such as Precise.

The overall opinion of the panel was that it should. Grenville Turner, chief executive of Countrywide, said: “Anyone who is a credible lender should have access to it.”

Nigel Terrington, chief executive of Paragon group, agreed: “FLS has supported building society growth and should be expanded outside the banking community.”

The panel also assessed the impact of FLS on the market at large with it generally being seen as a success.

Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at HSBC, said that despite his bank not using the scheme it was still seeing its effects.

Dockar said: “HSBC has seen a 30% year on year rise in mortgage lending despite not being involved in FLS. However we have seen a drop in pricing as a result of the scheme.”

Turner also said that he believes the scheme has been a success and said it had “improved confidence.”

But Turner warned that the scheme must be extended to prevent a stagnation of the market which could damage the wider economy.

Turner said: “You can’t have a functioning economy without a functioning housing market.”