Bank Releases Rules to Promote ‘Independent’ Appraisals

Bank_EspanaThe Bank of Spain has published a series of new regulations designed to “promote the independence of appraisals” from financial institutions.

The new regulations, published in a bulletin released today, add stronger language about the code of conduct of appraisers and pushes for more disclosures of potential conflicts of interest. The regulations focus on the requirements for rules of conduct and the necessity for detailing financial ties and relationships with lenders, Bloomberg reports.

The need to promote the independence of appraisers is “especially” notable in the mortgage market, the release points out.

Property valuations came under fire during the market collapse as lenders continued to issue mortgages on properties that were clearly over-valued. Countries around the world tightened restrictions on appraisers, who often came under pressure to boost values to help lenders close deals.

In the wake of the collapse, which led to the nationalisation of most of Spain’s biggest banks, many critics complain that government agencies have not done enough to ensure transparency and ethics in the process. Home lending levels remain low – although there has been a recent uptick – with banks still reluctant to write mortgages.

The new bulletin doesn’t propose new laws, but simply modifies existing regulations.

The new regulations (in Spanish) can be found here.

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