The Government says it will not intervene on behalf of mortgage brokers to put an end to dual-pricing, saying pricing and mortgage terms and conditions “remain commercial decisions for banks and building societies”.
The announcement came in response to a petition, which was submitted by Ronnie B Mortgages director Richard Betts and signed by over 2,000 people, calling for the Government to prevent banks offering cheaper deals to borrowers who go directly to a branch as opposed to seeking advice from a broker.
The Government says: “UK Financial Investments Limited, on the Government’s behalf, manages the stakes in financial institutions that have benefited from public sector investment. UKFI is required to operate at arm’s length from HM Treasury and manages the public’s stakes in banks on a commercial basis, with the objective of protecting and creating value for the taxpayer as shareholder.
“This means that even where public money has been made available to banks, the Government does not seek to intervene in commercial matters such as pricing or product design. To do so would be contrary to this principle of independence and may be anti-competitive or distort the market.”
The Mortgage Practitioner principal Danny Lovey says: “It is something you would expect the Government to say but what this has done is bring attention to the problem. The intermediary sector is having a hard time.”