Mortgages with sky-high arrangement fees should be banned from best-buy tables, says Savills Private Finance managing director Mark Harris.Harris is calling for a radical overhaul of the best-buy system and describes lenders that deliberately shrink their rates only to simultaneously raise their fees simply to catch consumers’ attention and shoot to the top of the tables as opportunistic and acting against the spirit of FSA regulation. He cites a number of lenders for this practice but says it is not just the smaller players that are guilty. Harris names Halifax as an offender for its two-year fix at 4.49 per cent that has a 1,499 arrangement fee. He says: “These practices have nothing to do with transparency or simplicity, which is what we are supposed to be concerned about as an industry. It goes against the spirit of FSA regulation and what we are trying to do. “No worries about a 1.5 per cent fee, these lenders might argue, as you can always add it to the mortgage. But that is potentially 25 years of paying off the interest, turning a reasonably cheap mortgage into a far less attractive one. Mortgages with extended redemption penalties were dumped from best-buy tables for being patently unfair. These deals should go the same way.” HBOS spokesman Paul Fincham says: “Customers can opt for a lower fee and a high rate if they want on the Halifax product. There is always choice for the customer.” In March, BBC Money Box presenter Paul Lewis told guests at the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ annual lunch that mortgage lenders were hiding fees simply to get to the top of the best-buy tables.
Concerns over the global economy mean the hunt is on for sectors that are less sensitive to economic slowdown, that are under-owned and where valuations are attractive. MitonOptimal is exploring a number of potential opportunities. The first is biotechnology and healthcare. The healthcare sector suffered a sell-off this year and, within this sector, biotech appears […]
The fourth-biggest bank in the US is planning to enter the UK mortgage market, with four other investment banks also lining up moves. Wachovia Securities, which has over 13 million customers in the US, is considering moving into the UK mortgage and unsecured loans market either through acquisition or by building its own proposition. It […]
Trigold has announced that Beacon Homeloans is the latest lender to support its Enhanced Non Conforming sourcing module.Beacon joins other non-conforming providers that Trigold says accounts for over 95 per cent of the market in supporting ENC. Tirgold chief executive Bill Safran says: “Beacon is leading a new generation of lenders that have re-written the […]
Axa says the fact that the Government needs 16 enforcement teams to police the minimum wage shows it is underestimating the cost of monitoring the national pension savings scheme. Head of pensions and savings policy Steve Folkard says he was alerted to the extent of the resources used to ensure that firms pay the minimum […]
Good and growing companies are still to be found, Simon Edelsten, manager of the Artemis Global Select Fund, tells Ross Leckie – even in a world marked by low(er) growth and political uncertainty.
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