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Nationwide slated on compulsory Cat loans

Nationwide has come under attack from IFAs for calling on the Government to make what advisers claim to be “anti-consumer” Cat standards compulsory on mortgages.

In its annual results last week, Nationwide defended its pricing policy by pushing for the Government to introduce legislation making Cat standards compulsory to ensure “a fair mortgage deal for all”.

But IFAs accuse Nationwide of lobbying for statutory Catmarks solely because it suits its own pricing strategy.

Savills Private Finance managing director Mark Chiltern says Nationwide is behaving in an anti-competitive manner by pushing for legislation he believes restricts choice and fails to offer best advice.

Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says Nationwide&#39s call is “way over the top” as Cat standards do not ensure the best deal and fail to protect consumers.

IFAs also claim Nationwide&#39s annual results are misleading because they “totally exclude” its new pricing strategy. The society says its share of the market fell to 9.1 per cent from 12 per cent last year but IFAs say the real drop is likely to be much higher bec-ause the results are only up to April, which is just weeks after Nationwide made its move to withdraw discount mortgages from its product range.

Chiltern says: “Nationwide is calling for this clearly bec-ause it suits its own book. Is that pro-consumer? No, it is not.”

Pretty Technical Partnership partner Kim North says: “If Cat standards are introduced across the board, len-ders will cut back on loan benefits. Nationwide has only done this because it has made the move and needs other lenders to follow.”

A Nationwide spokeswoman says: “If other lenders offered Cat-standard mortgages, everybody would receive a fairer mortgage deal.”

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