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Regulator speaks at SFHA Finance Conference

Most registered social landlords (RSLs) remain in good financial health, but the sector is facing new challenges. This was the message from the Scottish Housing Regulator to a gathering of RSL finance professionals. 

Source: Scottish Housing Regulator

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RSLs in good financial health but facing new challenges says regulator.

Most registered social landlords (RSLs) remain in good financial health, but the sector is facing new challenges. This was the message from the Scottish Housing Regulator to a gathering of RSL finance professionals.

Ian Brennan, Director of Regulation (Finance and Risk), was speaking at the SFHA’s annual finance conference in Aviemore. The regulator said it recognises that most RSLs have developed expertise to manage known risks. But Mr Brennan noted that the landscape has shifted quickly over the last year. RSLs are facing new challenges that may arise from Brexit, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reclassification of RSLs, and increased development activity.

Mr Brennan discussed the ONS’s decision and the Scottish Government’s commitment to legislate to reverse this. He stressed the regulator’s commitment to working constructively to deal with the ensuing challenges. He said:

“We will do everything we can to continue to regulate effectively to protect the interests of tenants and future tenants and provide assurance to lenders that the sector is a good place to invest.”

In a wide-ranging speech, Mr Brennan also spoke to delegates about the sector’s financial health and discussed the regulator’s recent statutory intervention in a small number of RSLs. He said that the interventions have caught the attention of ratings agencies, lenders and the housing media but are not indicative of a wider problem within the sector.

Mr Brennan’s speech is available on the regulator’s website www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk

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