Google axes UK mortgage plans

Google has scrapped plans for a UK mortgage comparison service after closing its US version.

Google Advisor Mortgage was set up in the US two years ago and came to form part of the online Google Advisor website in July, which allowed investors to search and compare financial offers from a range of providers. Google also offered mortgage comparison services in other countries.

It launched a UK trial version of the service in July under the name UK Compare Mortgages. The website was suspended in September with a message saying it was being revamped.

Google has confirmed it began scaling back the service globally in November and closed it completely this month.

It says the service was not as successful as it had hoped. A spokesman says: “We have been prioritising our product efforts, which means taking a hard look at products that have not been as successful as we would have hoped. We have closed down the mortgage search feature.”

Last March, Google bought comparison site Beatthatquote. com for £37.7m, which includes a mortgage quote service.

London & Country associate director of communications David Hollingworth says: “A lot of comparison firms pay Google to get traffic through its search engine and this would appear to be in competition with that.”