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‘Poso probe is needed to check fees’

The FSA may need to probe the fees charged by lenders operating point-of-sale offers, claims BM Solutions.

The firm, which will launch its Poso by Christmas, says once the technology is implemented, the service becomes cheaper than having a professional valuing the property on site and it says lenders should not charge the same fees.

The FSA is not a price regulator but BM says either it or the Office of Fair Trading should ask lenders to justify charging the same rates for a service that costs them less.

Edeus launched last week with instant offers while GMAC unveiled its Poso system a week earlier in a move it claims will apply to at least 60 per cent of its customers. Edeus will charge a premium for the instant offer on top of the valuation fee but GMAC will not. BM director Tim Hague says: “The FSA might take a dim view of some charges because it is not as reliable as a physical valuation. If the auto- mated valuation models costs 25, how do you justify 250 for an AVM?

“There are reasons to charge premiums as you pay more for quality but I suspect the FSA will take a look at these things.”

Active Management Group joint chief executive Mike Buckley says: “Efficiency should reduce costs so prices to the consumer should come down.”

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