Code of practice for home loan firms?

VOLUNTARY guidelines could be introduced later this year for companies which lend money in the Island.

Currently Jersey consumers could find themselves with nowhere to turn because the Island’s regulator, the Jersey Financial Services Commission, does not supervise the mortgage and lending market.

In the UK, the mortgage sector is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Questions have been raised following collapse of UK bank Northern Rock , pictured, earlier this year. Northern Rock does not operate in Jersey, although it does have a presence in Guernsey.

However, UK building society Kent Reliance, which holds more than 25% of the Jersey mortgage market, has this month announced that it is closing its Jersey Home Loans business to new customers because of the credit crunch.

Concern has also been raised, in the light of the current difficulties, about the wording of standard contracts issued by some lenders — including Jersey Home Loans — which state that all amounts outstanding are ‘repayable upon demand’.

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