Nearly a quarter (23%) of mortgage intermediaries expect that consumers will choose to bypass advice and arrange their mortgage directly with a lender if the FCA’s execution-only proposals are implemented, Paragon has revealed.
The FCA’s proposals, published in May this year, are one part of a package of remedies arising out of the Mortgage Market Study, which aims to encourage innovation and make it easier for consumers to find the right product.
It has proposed to remove prescriptive requirements around firms’ execution-only policies.
John Heron (pictured), managing director of mortgages at Paragon said: “The mortgage market is set for significant change as technological advances streamline routine processes and make inroads into product comparison and selection.
“However, choosing a mortgage is a major financial decision and advice can be critical in helping customers look beyond the headline interest rate to understand the full cost and benefits of alternative products.
“Advice is also essential when arriving at an optimum solution for customers with complex requirements.”
Paragon’s latest quarterly Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking (FACT) Survey found advised mortgage sales increased from 70% to 97% of mortgage business following the Mortgage Market Review in 2014.
This was when rules were introduced to improve clarity for consumers over whether their mortgage sale was subject to advice or not.
By confirming that search and filtering tools will not necessarily constitute advice and raising the trigger points at which firms need to divert customers from an execution-only to an advised channel, the FCA believes that a better balance can be achieved.
Among those brokers who expect the FCA proposals to lead to an increase in direct business, 44% believe the impact on their own business will be significant and 36% think it will present a threat to the broker market.
However, over half of intermediaries surveyed (55%) expect the impact of the changes will be minimal, perhaps indicating a belief that consumers are likely to continue to seek advice before making such a significant financial commitment.
One in seven surveyed (15%) plan to adapt their business models to accommodate the change.
The FCA’s “Consultation on mortgage advice and selling standards” closed on 7 July and is expected to result in a new policy statement in late 2019.