Brokers should help customers that have become mortgage prisoners

Michael Lloyd

January 24, 2019

CLS Money, the Essex based mortgage brokerage, has warned advisers to revisit all of those customers, who have struggled to remortgage and become ‘mortgage prisoners’.

Some 140,000 homeowners are unable to switch to a cheaper deal and are stuck on high interest-rate home loans with inactive or unregulated firms. Recently the FCA has said it’s proposing a change to its affordability checks to allow people to switch to deals that are easier to pay.

Clayton Shipton, managing director of CLS, said: “Lenders have already done as much as they can to ease the plight of borrowers stuck in mortgage limbo while remaining true to the regulator’s guidelines on affordability.

“Now, the FCA, to its credit, has recognised the unintentional consequences of the blanket guidelines it set out and rightly is acting to relieve the situation.

“It will take a little more time for consultation with the industry to lead to action, but I would recommend that every broker should be going back to their client banks right now and look for the cases where they have been unable to help customers in the past.

“By making them aware that their advisers are working hard behind the scenes for them in this way, they will not only retain the loyalty of those customers but also provide another opportunity to undertake a review of other needs.”

Shipton added: “We are already planning to contact customers to let them know there is likely to be good news and that their situations are in good hands with us.

“In 2019, all of us advisers need to work smarter in a more challenging market to ensure that our businesses continue to be successful.

“This is a great way to prepare existing customers for the opportunity to remortgage to a better deal. But be aware that if advisers don’t take action now, it is highly likely that those customers will go elsewhere for help as soon as the chance to move lenders comes up.”

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