FCA calls for more innovation in mortgage market

FCA calls for more innovation in mortgage market

The Financial Conduct Authority wants UK lenders to provide more online tools to help customers choose the right mortgage deal and to switch more easily to cheaper products.

While the watchdog found that competition in the UK's £1 trillion mortgage market is working well for many people, it says that 30% of consumers failed to find the cheapest product.

The FCA also wants to relax rules to help longstanding borrowers who are currently unable to switch to a better deal - often referred to as 'mortgage prisoners' - to more easily move their business to another provider.

The interim report additionally refers to the need for to “remove barriers to innovation including those due to aspects of FCA advice rules and guidance”.

Christopher Woolard, executive director of strategy and competition at the FCA, says: “For many the market is working well with high levels of consumer engagement. However, we believe that things could work better with more innovative tools to help consumers.”

He says the FCA wants to make it easier for consumers, at an early stage, to identify for which mortgage products they qualify, to assess and compare those products and, ultimately, to take out a mortgage.

The FCA is consulting on its interim findings and proposed remedies. It intends to publish a final report around the end of the year and will consult on any specific changes required to its rules.

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