CML and Which? report on progress towards greater mortgage transparency

The Council of Mortgage Lenders and Which? today publish a joint progress report to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, as noted in today’s Budget. This joint approach is to improve the information given to consumers so it’s easier to understand mortgage fees and charges and compare the overall cost of borrowing.

The organisations have made good progress, and most of the industry will have made the necessary changes by the end of the year. In July CML and Which? will publish firm proposals and a timeline for implementation.

The progress report outlines the key proposals for change, which are:

• Introducing 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;

• Wider use of consistent terms to describe the same types of fees and charges that currently have an array of different names;

• Better explanations of whether fees are compulsory or avoidable and when they will be charged;

• Clearer ways of presenting information to help borrowers compare the cost of particular mortgage deals over specific periods, not just the upfront costs.

CML director general Paul Smee comments:

“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.”

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd comments:

“This is good news for thousands of consumers who supported our 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.”

Notes to editors

1. The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ members are banks, building societies and other lenders who together undertake around 95% of all residential mortgage lending in the UK. There are 11.1 million mortgages in the UK, with loans worth over £1.3 trillion. For CML press office queries please contact Sue Anderson, sue.anderson@cml.org.uk, 020 7438 8924; or Bernard Clarke, bernard.clarke@cml.org.uk, 020 7438 8923; or Gareth Hill, gareth.hill@cml.org.uk, 020 7438 8922.

2. Which? More than 46,000 people have signed up to support our campaign to put an end to fees across the financial sector that are hidden, excessive or make the total cost difficult to understand and compare. Find out more: http://www.which.co.uk/. For Which? press office queries please contact Graham Black, graham.black@which.co.uk, 020 7770 7187.

3. The progress report is available here.

Contact details Name: Sue Anderson – Council of Mortgage Lenders Tel: 020 7438 8924 Email: sue.anderson@cml.org.uk Name: Bernard Clarke – Council of Mortgage Lenders Tel: 020 7438 8923 Email: bernard.clarke@cml.org.uk Name: Graham Black – Which? Tel: 020 7770 7187 Email graham.black@which.co.uk

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