FCA has published its interim report into the mortgage market. Although it is pleased with how competition is working to the benefit of many people, it has made some suggestions for improvement. It found that there are generally high levels of choice for consumers and that consumers engage with their options, with evidence of switching for better deals. But it noted it is hard for consumers to identify what products they qualify for and that around one third of customers do not identify their cheapest mortgage.
Key areas it has identified for improvement are:
- helping customers find the best-priced suitable mortgage deal;
- addressing current impediments to innovation in mortgage sales, even those that result from MCOB rules;
- making it easier for consumers to compare brokers; and
- helping longstanding borrowers who are currently “prisoners” within their deals – for example by an industry-wide agreement to help customers who took out their mortgages before the financial crisis and are up to date on payments to get new deals.
FCA is consulting on its proposed remedies and will publish a final report later this year. It asks for comments on the interim report and proposed remedies by 31 July.