Lenders need to look at the issue of dual pricing long and hard, says David Carter

"Think about it, if a consumer is offered a mortgage deal from an institution, it should not matter which route they take to access that institutions products; direct or via intermediary. According to the FSA the intermediary has no obligation to point out to the consumer that the same deal would be cheaper if they went direct to the lender. So the question is; are lenders ‘treating customers fairly’ with such a policy as this? Well the answer is an unequivocal ‘NO’. To give brokers who are fighting for survival the moral dilemma is not enough to absolve themselves of their responsibility.

Surely this is another potential future claims issue for the lenders (and for the networks through their apathy bordering on coalescence). If the lenders are concerned about the rapid growth of claims management companies and the targeting of mortgage brokers to provide such services, this is another future claim that many brokers will happily support unless they quickly change their tune. This will undoubtedly bite them in the proverbial in the long run. Once again short termism rules the day. And the broker’s (now turned claims expert’s) response will simply be "Revenge is a dish best served cold"!” Personally, I do not support the claims management companies ethics and approach, but if lenders continues to shut brokers out, then what else do they expect them to do? They have a mortgage to pay also!

Lenders need to look at the issue of dual pricing long and hard and ask themselves the most important question; Is it worth the hassle, the conflict, the damage to their brand and potentially the risk of future claims against them? For this has yet to be tested in court.....