Finance chaos delays key report

Recent financial turmoil, including the nationalisation of Bradford & Bingley and the collapse of the banking sector in the US, has delayed a report into the UK's mortgage market by at least two weeks, it has emerged.

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The former head of Halifax Bank of Scotland, Sir James Crosby, had been expected to hand over his review of mortgage financing to the Treasury by the end of this month.

But he is now likely to deliver the report to Chancellor Alistair Darling during the second half of October, to enable him to consider the recent developments in the financial markets.

The Treasury is expected to publish his recommendations shortly after it receives the report, but Mr Darling is not due to outline what action, if any, the Government will take until he makes his Pre-Budget Statement later in the year.

A Treasury spokesman said: "We are expecting the report mid to late October. Obviously Sir James Crosby will want to take account of recent events."

The mortgage market had been showing signs of improving since July, with nearly all of the major lenders repeatedly cutting their rates as competition returned.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

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