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Which? call to stop “sneaky” and “unclear” mortgage fees


Consumer organisation Which? have claimed that homeowners have to pay “sneaky” and “unclear” mortgage fees.

Which? believe borrowers face more than 40 different fees and charges, making it harder to calculate the actual cost of a mortgage over its whole lifetime. Average arrangement fees have almost doubled in five years, from £878 in 2009 to £1,588 in 2014, its research found.

Which? also found that two thirds of people believe companies use fees or charges to trick customers into thinking the overall cost of a product is cheaper than it actually is.

The company is now calling on Chancellor George Osborne to stop the unclear fees, to help make it easier for people to get the best deal. They want him to address three things in his upcoming autumn budget; making mortgage comparisons easier, making the full lifetime cost of a mortgage clear and ensuring additional fees are cost reflective.

Which? executive director, Richard Lloyd said:

“Homeowners could be paying over the odds for their mortgage because of the complex range of fees and charges that prevent them from finding the best deal.

“The Chancellor must act now to stop sneaky fees and charges and end mortgage confusion for consumers. The Government and the regulator should also explore better ways of presenting the total cost of mortgages.”

The Treasury said consumers were protected by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and were free to choose the best deals.
"The government is committed to increasing competition in the mortgage market and making it simpler for customers so they can choose the mortgage that's right for them," said a Treasury spokesperson.

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