On 8 May 2019, the FCA published a research report produced for it by Revealing Reality on buying a mortgage without advice.

The report follows research that explored with recent mortgage applicants how appealing and how clear they found several existing execution-only disclosure documents. The research found execution-only customers generally understood that they were selecting their mortgage without receiving advice. However, it also revealed that customers who went down either application route – execution-only or advised – struggled to understand the disclosure documents that were tested. This meant they were not always aware of the consequences of a decision to make an execution-only application, including what protections they would miss out on or what rights they would retain by choosing not to receive regulated advice.

The research revealed customers face five major problems with existing execution-only disclosure documents:

  • the disclosure document ‘gets lost’ among other documents;
  • customers do not understand what protections they have;
  • customers can struggle to understand the disclosure document as it often requires them to interpret technical language;
  • customers miss or skim over essential information because the design makes the document unappealing or hard to navigate; and
  • the disclosure document does not feel important.

The report presents opportunities and ideas for improvement based on the research, alongside illustrations of what is possible based on visual examples from the mortgage industry and other sectors.