View more on these topics

Call for best-buy ban over high loan fees

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.


On the water front

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 […]

Giant US bank poised for move into UK loan arena

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 […]

Beacon signs up to Trigold’s sourcing systems

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 […]

‘Govt underestimating cost of enforcing NPSS’

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 […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm