The FCA has launched a market study to consider whether competition in the mortgage sector can be improved to the benefit of consumers.

The market study will explore two questions:

  • At each stage of the consumer journey, do the available tools (any sources of help a consumer may use when shopping around or choosing a product such as information on products provided directly by lenders, price comparison websites or best buy tables, mortgage calculators, as well as advice provided by a lender or a broker) help mortgage consumers make effective decisions?
  • Do commercial arrangements between lenders, brokers and other players lead to conflicts of interest or misaligned incentives to the detriment of consumers?

The FCA’s work will focus on first charge residential mortgages and cover each stage of the consumer journey. The FCA will consider key stages in the mortgage purchasing process (such as deciding whether or not to obtain advice, choosing a provider or intermediary, choosing a product etc) as well as decisions, or barriers to consumers making a decision, across the lifecycle of the mortgage (such as house purchase, re-mortgage, switching).

The FCA aims to publish an interim report in summer 2017, setting out its analysis and preliminary conclusions. This will provide stakeholders with an opportunity to comment prior to publishing a final report in early 2018.

View FCA launches market study on competition in the mortgage sector, 12 December 2016