LONDON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Britain's government proposed on Thursday that the Bank of England be given powers to regulate the mortgages extended to small investors buying rental property.
The BoE can already limit lending for residential mortgages, and has asked the government for power to intervene in the rapidly growing buy-to-let sector, which finance minister George Osborne has said he is likely to approve.
As part of a public consultation before the powers are passed into law, the government asked if the central bank should be able to cap the maximum loan-to-value ratio for buy-to-let mortgages, as well as debt servicing costs relative to rents.
The consultation will continue until March 11.
Reporting by David Milliken, editing by Andy Bruce