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Dual-pricing plea is rejected by the Government

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.”


‘Not all Ucis are risky’

The Association of Policy Market Makers has defended unregulated collective investment schemes after an FSA warning over the products. In early August, the FSA warned advisers that Ucis providers were using aggressive sales techniques to lure advisers into selling high-risk schemes, promoting assets such as golf courses in Mexico. It said advisers face regulatory action […]

Shake-up for Invesco global equity funds

Invesco Perpetual has revamped its flagship £1.4bn global equity retail funds, including axing the number of holdings and shifting to a best ideas strategy. The company is gearing up for a marketing push on the funds. Its new chief investment officer Nick Mustoe has taken over full control of the global equity and global smaller […]


Banks fear new regulators will lack accountability

The British Bankers’ Association is lobbying the Government over fears that the new Consumer Protection and Markets Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority will lack accountability. According to the Telegraph, the BBA and many of the UK’s largest banks fear that scrapping the FSA will leave too much power in the hands of a small, […]

Northern Rock postpones fee reduction

Northern Rock has postponed the reduction of its application fee due to a systems error. Last Friday the lender announced it would slash its mortgage application fee for home buyers by 60 per cent, from £250 to £99 on August 23. Northern Rock says it is now working to implement the fee reduction as quickly […]

Tax year-end planning for annual allowance

Last tax year-end there was a lot to think about in relation to planning. The introduction of the tapered annual allowance and the implications of moving to a fixed pension input period, the reduction in the lifetime allowance and potentially applying for protection, and the concern about changes to tax relief, to name a few. […]


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