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FSA forces lenders to point to rival ranges

The FSA has been criticised by mortgage lenders for effectively forcing

them to promote the products of rival providers on their pre-sale

illustration documents.

Lenders are furious with the FSA for insisting they draw attention to the

regulator&#39s mortgage comparative tables on their pre-sale product

information as they say it will encourage borrowers to look at rival

products.

Lenders have been further aggrieved by the news the tables, due to be

posted on the FSA&#39s website early next year, will list providers in

alphabetical order.

Halifax says it is “far from happy” that borrowers will see rivals such as

Abbey National at the top of the alphabetical tables and claims the FSA

should instead base listings on APR, which the regulator has been keen for

borrowers to take into account when choosing a mortgage.

A Halifax spokeswoman says: “This advice to look at the tables is the

first thing borrowers will see on the pre-sale document. Do we want to

encourage borrowers to go to other providers? No. It is one of the things

we will be commenting on to the FSA.”

Skipton Building Society head of corporate communications Mark

Smitheringale says: “It is crazy. It brings into question the FSA&#39s whole

aim with regulation and presupposes that borrowers only choose a mortgage

based on price, which clearly is not the case.”

FSA press officer Louise Buckley says: “The tables should encourage

transparency and competition and will help consumers to make better

informed decisions.”

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