Over the summer, Alex Brazier, the Bank of England Financial Stability Strategy and Risk Executive Director made a welcome visit to Bristol hosted by investment group Hargreaves Landsdown. He made some very blunt comments about the conduct of the banking sector that led to the 2007- 2008 financial crisis but is confident that the financial system is now “three or four times stronger than it was ten years ago.” His job is to make sure that the banks are capitalised sufficiently to absorb any shocks and to make sure that that do so by a wide margin. This is done by applying stress to banks and other financial institutions.
He admitted that the stress tests had not been popular with some senior figures and were deemed to be “unsporting” by one chief executive. Mr Brazier considers this view to be a confirmation that the stress tests are getting it about right.
Buy to let (BTL) investors who are reluctantly coming to terms with the new guidelines for higher rental cover and higher deposits for BTL mortgages should reflect on how difficult it was to get a BTL mortgage in the wake of the financial crash!