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Standard Life challenging rivals with offset mortgage

Standard Life Bank is planning an offset mortgage in a bid to challenge market leaders Intelligent Finance, Woolwich and Britannic Money.

The bank plans to offer the product – where borrowers offset savings against their loan to reduce interest payments – over the next few months to reverse its decline in new business.

Both IF and Woolwich laun-ched offset products 18 months ago and brokers credit their success with stifling Standard Life&#39s growth in the market.

Standard Bank says it decided to offer an offset range – rather than current account mortgages – because it bel-ieves most borrowers do not have the discipline to run a CAM without running into difficulties. But some brokers say the move may be a backlash to IF&#39s decision to model itself on Standard Life, a strategy they believe has cost it market share.

London & Country head of operations and compliance Patrick Bunton says: “It was inevitable really. IF and Woolwich have hurt Standard Life more than most and I think this shows them fighting back.”

A Standard Life spokeswoman says: “We are looking at introducing offset mortgages in the coming months but will not be considering launching current account loans. Most borrowers just are not disciplined enough.”

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