Yorkshire defends direct-only decision

A statement from the lender said: "As a responsible mutual who is not owned by external shareholders, our priority is to help people buy their own homes.

"The most effective way of doing this is to make available to our customers a wide range of mortgages to suit different types of borrowers, including first-time buyers, people moving home and people wanting to remortgage.

"This means that our different brands offer mortgages which complement each other, with Accord offering a variety extremely competitive mortgages including options which have no product fees, and mortgages with cashback on completion and free standard valuations."

The cheapest rate on offer from Yorkshire building society's broker channel Accord is a 2-year fix pegged at 1.44% with £845 fee, up to 60% loan-to-value, meaning brokers can't offer clients the most competitive rates the lender offers.

Harry Arnold, associate of Anderson Harris, said: "Dual pricing has become much less of an issue in recent times as lenders, struggling to deal with the extra work created by the Mortgage Market Review, have largely been happy to pass the bulk of that load onto brokers. However, some lenders now feel that too much business is going via brokers and are looking for ways to claw this back.

"Dual pricing can be a problem for borrowers, however. If they go direct to the lender in order to access the cheapest rate it can often make the application much harder, as branch advisers are often not as efficient as independent brokers.

'"A lender such as Yorkshire building society also has a more limited high-street presence than some other lenders and not everyone will have a local branch they can easily access."

Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: "Lenders with a branch network will forever attempt to drive footfall in an exercise to justify and cover their expense – a cheap mortgage rate is no different.

"As always, a branch adviser can only guide on their own products (mortgage, insurance and so on) whereas an independent mortgage broker will find the most appropriate product, even though it may not be the cheapest. For example, maybe the applicant requires interest-only or a remortgage/fees free package."

Some lenders such as Skipton are vocal about not dual pricing and offering cheaper deals via brokers. Other lenders, such as The Mortgage Works, go the other way and won’t deal directly with the public.

Yorkshire building society launched the UK’s lowest ever fixed rate mortgage with a 1.07% initial rate available direct only this morning.