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Widows lifetime rate uncompetitive, say brokers

Ramesh Sharma

February 11, 2006

Despite a rise in proc fees for brokers of 0.25 per cent, the rate of the mortgage, which has fallen from 6.44 per cent to 6.2 per cent, has been regarded by some brokers as still uncompetitive.

Peter O’Donovan, mortgage manager at Bestinvest, said: “I don’t think this deal is particularly competitive and a number of lenders have rates up to half a per cent lower. I can’t see that Scottish Widows Bank is serious about this market.”

Tony Catt, a sole practitioner, agreed: “It’s not too bad but Scottish Widows Bank is still a little behind Mortgage Express and nowhere near GE Life. However, it does bring it nearer into line with them and it’s good to see some movement in the market.”

Scottish Widows Bank has argued that the rate is competitive and the increase in proc fees will help reward brokers for their time in dealing with the often complex world of equity release.

Murdo McHardy, head of product development and marketing at Scottish Widows Bank, said: “The latest changes reflect not only the competitive nature of our products but also our commitment to the intermediary market. We appreciate the complex nature of the lifetime product and feel that the broker should be rewarded for the time and effort spent advising the client.”

“The new rate and procuration fee, along with the ability to apply for funds in stages, makes it one of the most attractive available, for both IFAs and their clients,” he added.

Proc fees have risen from 0.75 per cent to 1 per cent, with a window of between £300 and £2,500 available on all loan amounts.


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