Cameron: Mortgage lenders should step up to the plate

Published on: 12/12/2007

Struggling mortgage holders should receive help from banks and building societies in the meeting their repayments, the Conservative leader has said.

Speaking ahead of a meeting with the Council of Mortgage Lenders yesterday, David Cameron said that Britons are currently “feeling the pinch”, thanks to high interest rates, rising food and petrol bills and falling disposable income.

He said that over the next 12 months, 1.4 million mortgage holders are going to struggle as their mortgages come to the end of the fixed rate periods.

Mr Cameron said that because rates are higher than they were two years ago, these consumers could find they are having to pay an extra 200 a month for their mortgage.

He suggested that banks and building societies should help ease the financial burden on homeowners by staggering the increase in mortgage repayments instead of imposing a sudden hike.

The Conservative leader said: “I am today calling on every lender to do everything they can to help reduce the risk of financial distress in the coming months.

“I want to see the banking industry step up to the plate, and help ease the burden on hard-pressed homeowners. This is as important for banks and building societies themselves as it is for the economy as a whole. If you take responsible and timely action, we will support you every step of the way.”

But, responding to Mr Cameron’s comments, Andy Burnham, Labour’s chief secretary to the Treasury, said that the Conservative party leader’s promises would put everyone’s mortgages “under threat”.

Mr Burnham said: “David Cameron’s warm words about social responsibility don’t add up to anything, nor can they hide the fact that as recently as this summer he was heaping praise on the report by his Economic Policy Commission that recommended scrapping every regulation protecting people taking out mortgages.”


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