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Halifax moves to end retention confusion

Halifax has moved to stop confusion over its retention products after two Personal Touch brokers claimed it does not offer the same deals to new and existing customers.

The lender insists it does offer the same deals for all clients as long as they stay within a particular product range.

It has different product ranges for first-time buyers and homemovers but rates will be different if someone who was originally on a first-time buyer deal, for example, moves to a refinancing option or someone who was a homemover then refinances.

HBOS spokesman Paul Fincham says: “Maybe some people are getting confused but comparing refinancing deals with homemover deals is like comparing apples with pears.”

Gardner Independent head Lee Gardner says: “Halifax’s retention range is not as competitive as what it sells on the open market and the next step would be to offer their open market products to existing clients.”

Bright Mortgage Advice boss Andrew Parkinson says: “The Halifax system is very quick but the client would probably get a better rate on the open market.”

Meanwhile, Bank of Scotland has come under fire for failing to rectify an error highlighted by Money Marketing over a year ago.

In October 2005, HBOS was criticised by IFA George Harris from independent firm Tisco for failing to include a pamphlet on property assessments despite clients being asked to sign a document saying they had seen it.

He claims Halifax has rec-tified the problem but it is still missing from BoS applications, which he says could render a client’s application inadmissible.

Fincham says: “The booklet is available either by request or a summary is available on the Bank of Scotland Intermediaries website. We are in the process of revising the declaration form to make it clearer where this information can be found.”

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