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Mortgage Guarantee Scheme Extension: Contingent Liability

Volume 725: debated on Tuesday 20 December 2022

Today I can inform the House that the mortgage guarantee scheme will be extended by an additional year to continue to support homebuyers and movers with smaller deposits. The scheme will now close to new accounts on 31 December 2023.

HM Treasury launched the mortgage guarantee scheme in April 2021, which provides a guarantee to participating lenders across the UK who offer mortgages to first-time buyers and existing homeowners with a deposit as small as 5% on homes with a value of up to £600,000. Since its launch last year, the scheme has successfully restored the availability of 91 to 95% loan-to-value mortgage products, directly supporting over 24,000 households to buy their homes—85% of which were by first-time buyers. Since 2010, more than 687,000 households have been helped into home ownership through Government schemes.

While the mortgage guarantee scheme was originally planned to close to new mortgage applications on 31 December 2022, HM Treasury has decided to extend the scheme by an additional year to continue to provide lenders with the confidence to offer low-deposit mortgages to consumers.

Guarantees issued under the scheme are valid for up to seven years after the mortgage is originated. Participating lenders pay HM Treasury a fee for each mortgage entered into the scheme. This is set so that expected claims against the guarantee should be covered by revenue from the fee.

In order to ensure products remain available, HM Treasury will therefore be extending the duration of the Government’s contingent liability for an additional year beyond its planned closing date of 31 December 2022. The Department is also reducing the maximum contingent liability cap from £3.9 billion to £3.2 billion, which remains set at a level so as not to constrain the ability of lenders to access the scheme. This liability would only materialise if the sum of commercial fees paid by lenders would not be sufficient to cover calls on the guarantee.

Authority for any expenditure required under this liability will be sought through the normal procedure. HM Treasury has approved this proposal.