Though it’s not officially confirmed that this will happen, a number of the newspapers are reporting the fact that the FSA want to push through new checks for mortgage applications. The main one is that applicants will be “forced” to prove their spending habits including such wonderful matters as childcare and drinking (not that the two are linked).In the good old days anyone with an ounce of sense could cobble up a basic spreadsheet with their income and basic outgoings and that normally kept the bank manager happy.
I was thinking of taking it a little further. Opt in to carry a Tesco Clubcard or Nectar card with you from 3-6 months and prove your spending habits. Then let the bank mine your data prior to getting a decision. Yes it can be mildly fixed that everyone is on their best behaviour for those six months but you’d still get an idea of what the general basket size of the applicant is each week. It won’t be long before a quick mine of Twitter and Facebook data will also show predictive modelling. If you are posting up photos of yourself pee’d up to the nines on Facebook on a Sunday afternoon then there’s a good chance you went on a bender Friday/Saturday night. Just check the timestamps of new activity in the photo stream and you can get an idea of the drinking patterns in no time. Sweeping generalisations, yes. All in the realms of possiblilty? Yes.