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Britannic Money says FSA is missing flexible opportunity

Lender Britannic Money has criticised the FSA for not dedicating a comparative mortgage table to current account and offset products.

It is also attacking the FSA for failing to give an airtight definition of flexible mortgages although the FSA now says that it is making small changes to the current definition of flexible loans.

In its latest bulletin on the tables, which are set to be published in October, the FSA says as only a handful of lenders have current accounts and offsets they do not merit a separate table.

But BM says lenders offering these products, such as Virgin One, Woolwich and Intelligent Finance, spend millions on advertising and that consumers will not be able to make an instant comparison.

BM strategic development manager James Mayne says: “The FSA has missed a wonderful opportunity in not providing a watertight definition of flexible mortgages.

“A lender could call a product flexible despite it having monthly interest, requiring a minimum overpayment of £1,000 and allowing only one payment holiday a year.”

FSA spokeswoman Kate Bristowe says: “The tables will have an indicator showing if a mortgage is current account or offset and consumers can pull these out and create their own table. We have set out what we see as a consistent definition of flexible mortgages.”

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