Nationwide claims HSBC’s rate matcher guarantee is a gimmick and says it has no plans to copy the scheme.
Rate matcher guarantees to match the fixed rates of existing borrowers coming off two, three and five-year deals for a variable fee.
But Nationwide non-retail executive director Matthew Wyles says the society already gets high levels of retention through consistent deals. He says: “I think it is a bit of a gimmick. We consistently offer competitive deals to our existing customers and will be carrying on with what we are doing. We do not feel the need to pull the rabbit out of the hat.”
HSBC’s scheme will run until at least the end of April and allows borrowers to re-fix over one, two, three or five years.
Under the terms of the deal, borrowers pay a fee to match their old fixed rate depending on the length of the fixed term and rate paid.
An HSBC spokesman says: “It is certainly not a gimmick for those customers who are on low rates looking to switch. The offers that people can switch on to speak for themselves.”
HSBC estimates that over 93 per cent of its borrowers coming off fixed-rate mortgages in February will pay £500 or less.
John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says: “The degree of flexibility is good and the rates it is offering seem to be quite competitive, even with the fees involved.”
HSBC head of mortgages Martijn van der Heijden says the firm’s rate matcher offer is “designed to smooth out the ups and downs of moving between mortgage deals and create a sustainable platform for homeownership”.