May 4, 2018 / 6:38 AM / 5 months ago

Nearly a third of UK homebuyers fail to get best mortgages, says watchdog

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Britain’s markets watchdog proposed changes on Friday to make it easier for people to find the best mortgage after it found that nearly a third of borrowers fail the find the cheapest deal.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published the interim findings of a review into Britain’s trillion-pound mortgage market, launched in December 2016 to determine whether customers could obtain better deals and if links between industry players limit choice.

It said that a significant minority of customers, about 30 percent, fail to find the cheapest mortgage for them.

The high cost of buying a home in Britain, exacerbated by a housing shortage, has put ownership out of reach for many people and the government is under pressure to address the problem.

“For many the market is working well with high levels of consumer engagement,” Christopher Woolard, FCA executive director of strategy and competition, said in a statement.

“However, we believe that things could work better with more innovative tools to help consumers. There are also a number of long-standing borrowers that have kept up-to-date with their mortgage repayments but are unable to get a new deal; we want to explore ways that we, and the industry, can help them.”

The report found little evidence that current commercial arragements between firms in the market are harming customers.

The watchdog recommends making it easier for customers to identify the right mortgages and best brokers at an early stage.

The FCA intends to work with the sector to develop metrics to help consumers to compare brokers, the FCA said. (Reporting by Huw Jones Editing by David Goodman )

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