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The Council of Mortgage Lenders and consumer organisation Which? have published a joint progress report on how to help people understand mortgage fees and charges. The aim is to improve the information given to consumers so that they can also compare the overall cost of borrowing. It says that organisations have made good progress, and most of the industry will have made the necessary changes by the end of the year. Meanwhile in July the CML and Which? will publish firm proposals and a timeline for implementation. The report calls for the introduction of a common approach by lenders to make their tariff of fees and charges available to customers to avoid confusion and make it easier to find information about mortgage costs. It also wants to see a wider use of consistent terms to describe the same types of fees and charges that currently have an array of different names and better explanations of whether fees are compulsory or avoidable and when they will be charged. It says there needs to be clearer ways of presenting information to help borrowers compare the cost of particular mortgage deals over specific periods, not just the upfront costs. ‘This collaboration with Which? has helped lenders focus on practical and simple ways to help customers by making information more transparent and consistent. We hope customers themselves will find it easier and less daunting to make informed choices about their mortgages as a result,’ said CML director general Paul Smee. Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said it is good news for thousands of consumers who supported the organisation’s call for an end to the confusion about the full cost of taking out a mortgage. ‘Which? has been working with the CML to simplify the wide range of complicated fees and charges in the market so people don't pay over the odds on their loan. We look forward to all mortgage providers making these changes so that people can get the best deals more easily,’ he added. Continue reading →
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