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AS 2014: CML to work with Which? on mortgage fee transparency

The Council of Mortgage Lenders is to work with Which? to improve the transparency of mortgage fees.

In today’s Autumn Statement, the Government announced it has asked the trade body to work with Which? to make it easier for borrowers to choose the best mortgage deals.

The CML says it will work towards a set of measures that will aid transparency, understanding, and decision-making for consumers when considering the overall costs of different mortgages.

The CML says: “Although the FCA rules on the presentation and transparency of cost information are comprehensive, consumers do not always find the cost disclosure easy to understand.”

The trade body says the six-month project will consider the following issues:

  • transparency and presentation of fees and charges to help improve consumer outcomes;
  • standardisation of terminology around fees and charges;
  • consumer education; and
  • setting administrative charges so that they reflect the cost to the lender.

The CML and Which? have agreed to provide a progress report by the Budget in March, and a programme for future action to be taken forward through industry guidance.

CML director general Paul Smee says: “With the largest and most competitive mortgage market in Europe, UK customers are well-served for choice.

“We recognise that for this choice to bring the greatest benefit, consumers need to be able to understand and compare products confidently. We welcome the opportunity to work with Which? towards measures that can make this easier for them.”

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd says: “With so many people on tight budgets trying to get a foot on the housing ladder or looking to remortgage as rates rise, it’s essential that they can more easily find the best deal.

“We look forward to working with the CML to simplify the wide range of complicated fees and charges in the market so that borrowers don’t pay over the odds on their loan.”


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There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Any reason why it is CML and ?Which rather than AMI as well?

    I thought Which actual had an arm providing mortgage advice?

    How many still remember ?Which’s endowment best buy tables etc….

    Aren’t there several members of the FSCP who are former ?Which and from the ?which website

    Richard Lloyd Executive Director

    Richard Lloyd joined Which? in April 2011 as Executive Director.

    Richard has over 20 years’ experience of campaigning, policy-making and service provision in charities, housing agencies and local government.

    Richard has also worked for two years in No10 Downing Street as an adviser to the Prime Minister, dealing with economic issues across the government, including strategy, communications and consumer policy.

  2. I thought I remembered correctly 2/13 are ex ?Which and that excludes DR Debbie Harrison who wrote the favourable report on Keydata Life Settlement plans before their collapse and the witch hunt which followed.

  3. Can we also have transparency around the “survey fee” costs and the control the lenders have over surveyor panels. I understand the concern over potential fraud but it is being used to leverage extortionately high fees from the public.

  4. Which? would appear to be getting slowly absorbed and seduced by the establishment, which (no pun intended) will mean any teeth it once had will become blunted and of no effect. A classic case of getting your critics into the fold.

    Personally I have taken little notice of what Which? has had to say for several years as it seems to me that much of what hits the headlines is there just for that effect and often has little substance to back it up.

    Once they started to sell their “Best Buy” stamp to the companies they were researching then the slippery slope started.

    And yes Phil, I remember the best buy endowment tables, now, was that advice or guidance?

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