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Volume 503: debated on Monday 11 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what his Department’s policy is on the implementation of the proposals of the European Commission on harmonising rules governing access to mortgages; and what assessment has been made of the implications for his Department’s policies of the Commission’s proposed further changes to the European Capital Requirements Directive. (308598)

I have been asked to reply.

The European Commission published a White Paper on European mortgage markets at the end of 2007. This document is available on the Commission’s website, at:

The Commission has since undertaken work to improve the evidence base on EU mortgage markets, which HM Treasury has supported and encouraged, including work to renew this evidence base following the financial crisis. HM Treasury will continue to engage with the European Commission to help ensure that any response at the EU level is effective and proportionate.

The European Commission published a consultation under ‘Further possible changes to the Capital requirements Directive’ with a closing date of 4 September 2009. Due to developments internationally, including a G20 consensus agreement on bank capital reform, it is now expected that the European Commission will reissue its consultation in late summer or the autumn of 2010. This will have a broader scope to match the Bank for International Settlements’ consultation ‘Strengthening the resilience of the banking sector’, while retaining the measures on moving towards a single rulebook for bank capital in the EU. In the interim period, HM Treasury will continue to pursue the objectives outlined in its paper ‘Reforming Financial Markets’, both within the EU and internationally.