Society chief floats the idea of a common mortgage

The idea of a universal mortgage product to be offered by all building societies has been mooted in a bid to boost the profile of the sector.
Michael Heenan, chief executive of Stafford Railway Building Society, proposed the idea of a common mutual mortgage product at the BSA conference.

He says: “I hope that one day it will be possible to have a common product available from all societies which is marketed nationally. This would raise the profile of the sector.

“Whether this would be possible I don’t know but I hope so because it would be a product that’s unique to mutuals.”

Stafford Railway only offers one mortgage product – an SVR at 3.49% so all members pay the same rate regardless of LTV. The only fee levied on the deal is for valuations.

But Joan Smyth, chair of Pro-gressive Building Society, says: “I have some concerns about the effect on competition in the market if there was a common product.

“I know it makes it easier to mount a campaign if you’ve got something like this but mutuals need to be able to do their own thing and sell their own deals.”