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Abbey appeals against FOS ruling in dual-pricing row

Abbey National is appealing against the Financial Ombuds-man Scheme&#39s initial ruling in favour of a borrower who complained about its alleged dual-pricing of mortgages.

Last month, the FOS adjudicator upheld the individual&#39s complaint about their mortgage deal being linked to Abbey&#39s national standard var-iable rate of 6.1 per cent and not one of its new tracker rates of 4.9 per cent or 5 per cent.

Abbey denies it operates a dual-pricing strategy, saying it does not have two base rates or two standard variable rates. It claims to have only one standard variable rate and two tracker products.

It is providing new information for FOS to consider before it delivers a final decision and says it is “concerned that consumer choice could be severely limited if lenders are forced to remove competitive rates as a result of the ombudsman&#39s findings”.

Abbey says customers want choice and access to competitive deals and it feels “the initial adjudicator&#39s review may impede our ability to provide deals that customers want”.

Homeloan Management sales and marketing director Tim Fletcher says: “Perhaps the ombudsman needs to consider more than the facts of the case and the specifics before him. Is there not a need for a more holistic interpretation?”

Abbey spokeswoman Sharon Makin says: “We are preparing an appeal. Our products remain unchanged following the initial review.”

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