Mortgage customers who have previously been unable to switch mortgages despite being up-to-date with their payments (commonly known as mortgage prisoners), could soon be able to find a cheaper deal after the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) proposed changes to how lenders assess whether or not a customer can afford the loan.In the final report of its Mortgages Market Study, published today, the FCA confirmed its earlier findings that the mortgage market is working well in many respects but falls short of the FCA’s vision in some specific ways. The consultation on new lending rules forms part of a package of remedies designed to help the market work better.

In addition, the remedies package includes:

  • seeking to speed up more widespread participation by lenders in innovative tools to help customers more easily identify what mortgages they qualify for
  • a proposal for the Single Financial Guidance Body (SFGB) to extend its existing retirement adviser directory (currently under the Money Advice Service brand) to include mortgage intermediaries to help customers make a more informed choice of broker
  • also consulting, in the spring, on proposals to change mortgage advice rules and guidance to help remove potential barriers to innovation
  • further, in-depth analysis to understand more about those customers that do not switch mortgage to inform any necessary intervention

Source: FCA acts to help mortgage prisoners | FCA