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Charcol chief collars firms on loan ads

Some mortgage promotions are still not complying with FSA regulation despite the regulator pled-ging a crackdown on misleading advertising, says Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger.

He says many lenders are misleading customers with information that could be in conflict with the FSA’s financial promotions directive.

Some lenders do not clearly display the collar – the minimum pay rate – on a mortgage, says Boulger. He claims that First Active and Halifax do not make collars clear on their advertising for discount mortgages.

In the spirit of treating customers fairly, Boulger believes this should have just as much prominence as the interest rate.

He also warns that the end-date of fixed-rate periods are often described inaccurately, citing the first day of the month as the official end rather than the last date of the previous month.

Boulger says: “Those who are not compliant are getting a commercial advantage. There is an appalling attitude of the FSA,waiting for someone to whistleblow.”

Halifax senior media relations officer Paul Fincham says: “We are very clear within all product-related literature about special conditions attached to products. There is only so much information you can get into an advertisement. That is where the sales process picks it up.”

First Active was unavailable for comment.

FSA spokesman Robin Gordon Walker says: “When members of the public make complaints like this, our enforcement division will look at them.”FSA priorities, p5

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