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Kwarteng to meet high street bank chiefs amid mortgage market freeze

Executives from Britain’s biggest high street banks have been summoned for talks with Kwasi Kwarteng amid concerns about the impact of recent financial turmoil on the mortgage market.

Sky News has learnt that the Treasury has convened a meeting on Thursday at which the chancellor is expected to quiz lenders on their plans.

City sources said executives from Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and NatWest Group were among those expected to attend.

Hundreds of mortgage deals have been pulled or frozen by banks as a result of volatility in how banks price home loans.

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The chief executive of the City watchdog told The Sunday Times at the weekend that he wanted lenders to justify the withdrawal of fixed-rate mortgage products.

“If a product is withdrawn for a temporary period, we want to understand when they’re going to come back to market so that those people who may need to refinance are able to proceed with their plans,” Nikhil Rathi told the newspaper.

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People briefed on the agenda for Thursday’s meeting with Mr Kwarteng said it would also address the economic growth plans announced since he was appointed as chancellor last month.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng speaks during Britain's Conservative Party's annual conference in Birmingham, Britain, October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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Kwasi Kwarteng

Mr Kwarteng has already held a series of meetings with senior financiers, including executives from investment banks, asset managers and insurers.

He has said he will set out plans for a deregulatory drive dubbed Big Bang 2.0 in the coming weeks, with a particular focus on scrapping rules imposed during Britain’s membership of the EU.

None of the banks invited to the meeting would comment on Wednesday.

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