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Loan firms slam claims over Catmark success

The Treasury is under fire from the mortgage industry for boasting about the success of Cat standards in its Regulating Mortgages paper.

The paper claims Cat standards have created straightforward mortgages and are “stimulating lenders toward delivering fair value to their customers”. It says Cat standards have encouraged lenders to calculate interest daily, allowed overpayments and cut early repayment charges.

But broker franchise Mortgageforce says Catmarking has not even dented the surface. Instead, it says market pressure and competition has modernised products.

Mortgage broker Charcol says Catmarks&#39 shortcomings are shown in the way Nationwide has got round the rule against charging arrangement fees on Cat products by putting a 7.99 per cent cap on some of its tracker products, allowing charges to be levied.

Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says: “Full marks to Nationwide for innovation and finding a way round the system but this shows its shortcomings.”

Nationwide spokesman Steve Blore says: “The cap provides additional reassurance for consumers and although 7.99 per cent is high, it is not beyond the realms of reason that it would be reached. The cap does allow us to make all our products Catmarked.”


Philip Williamson

Lives: Haywards Heath, Sussex.Born: December 11, 1947.Age: 54Education and qualifications: Caldy Grange School, Wirral; degree in economics from Newcastle University.Career to date: Lloyds Bank 1970/88; UK Land director 1988/91; Nationwide 1991 to date, promoted to divisional director in 1994, appointed to board in 1996, chief executive since January 2002.Career ambition: Achieved. “Happy to retire in […]

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