New chair of Council of Mortgage Lenders in Scotland gives first public speech
Carol Anderson, Scotland branch and business banking distribution director at TSB Bank, has been appointed new chair of the Council of Mortgage Lenders in Scotland.
She succeeds Linda Docherty, of Clydesdale Bank. Carol's appointment coincides with CML Scotland's annual lunch in Edinburgh where 200 members of the Scottish mortgage market listened to her first public speech as chair.
‘With a changing of the guard here at CML Scotland, so to speak, I think it is a good time to take stock of our industry. If I was to give my feelings on the current state of the Scottish market in one word, it would be optimistic,’ said Anderson.
‘Mortgage lending continues to rise. Last year, more loans were taken out to purchase a home in Scotland than any year since 2007. First time buyers were at their highest level since 2007, home movers also and remortgage lending was up to 2011 levels,’ she pointed out.
‘More broadly, despite a muted global economy recently, Scottish exports have risen 40% since the start of the recession. Foreign investment was at its highest in 2013 since 1996. Outside of London, Scotland has been first or second out of the UK regions for inward investment, with our highest level of US investment in 2014. We are truly in a recovery period in Scotland,’ she added.
She went on to praise lenders in Scotland for their hard work in successfully implementing the Mortgage Market Review smoothly, mitigating further regulatory tweaks, and making Help to Buy a success that has been targeted towards those it was designed for. But she warned this was no time for complacency and there would be challenges ahead, such as the Mortgage Credit Directive implementation and the new buy to let tax changes.
‘We’d have wished the government had waited for the dust to settle before heaping new transaction taxes on top of the landlord tax changes. The CML believes proposals for a 3% Land and Buildings Transaction Tax surcharge on purchase of second properties demands a rethink,’ Anderson explained.
‘Or at least tinkered with so it is not an upfront tax for those with unplanned temporary ownership of two properties. This would be a huge inconvenience to many and we’d urge the government to allow buyers to be allowed to defer the payment of higher LBTT for up to 18 months, to cater for temporary situations,’ she added.
‘With the changes to the Private Tenancies Bill, further adding a LBTT supplement on top could have a cumulative impact on landlords and the ability of Scottish Government to deliver a fully cross tenure approach,’ she concluded.