§ Mr. Gardiner
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what discussions the Treasury has had with the Financial Services Authority about including the need for financial stress testing for consumers applying for mortgages. 
§ Ruth Kelly
The Government legislated in June 2003 to give the Financial Services Authority responsibility for regulating mortgage business with effect from 31 October 2004. The detail of the regulatory regime for mortgages is a matter for the FSA.
However, we are aware that the FSA has recently published its new rules for mortgage sales. These rules, which take effect from 31 October next year, mean that:mortgage advisers have to recommend a mortgage that is suitable. Where they consider that the consumer will be unable to afford a mortgage the rules mean that they must not make any recommendation; andregardless of whether or not advice is provided, mortgage lenders must be able to show that they took account of the consumer's ability to repay before agreeing to any mortgage.