Mortgage applicants in the UK are being asked increasingly intrusive questions by lenders including whether they play golf or eat steak, in what has been dubbed ‘Spanish-inquisition’-style interviews.
They are being quizzed in interviews, which can last up to three hours, over the price of their haircuts, their plans for more children and their hopes of a pay rise, reports the Daily Mail.
The questions are supposed to prevent a return to the reckless lending behind the financial meltdown of 2008.
The detailed questioning is a response to a market review by the Financial Conduct Authority.
But many lenders are confused about how to apply the new rules, resulting in personal or arguably intrusive questions.
One woman told the Daily Mail
she was asked whether she plans to have any more children and whether her husband was a member of a golf club.
She was then quizzed on whether her husband is likely to get a substantial pay rise this year and if she planned on ever going back to work after having children.
Borrowers who claim to have cut backing on eating out are being quizzed how often they cook steak, the newspaper reported.
Figures from mortgage brokerages show the clampdown is cutting as much as £100,000 [$180,000] off the amount banks are willing to lend.
Despite the crackdown, fears persist that the UK could be in the midst of a housing bubble.
The Confederation of British Industry has called on the Bank of England to take whatever action is required to stop prices spiralling out of control and threatening the recovery.