Nationwide ad sparks anger

A broker has slammed Nationwide for what he considers to be inaccurate advertising outside its branches.

Brian Melling, senior mortgage consultant at mortgage2move, was in-censed when he saw posters and placards outside his local Nationwide branch in Derby proclaiming ‘Mortgage advice available here today’.

Melling says: “Nationwide’s staff members will be obliged to provide an Initial Disclosure Document which states that they can only give information on products from one lender.

“They are prevented by Financial Services Authority rules from giving advice. But prospective clients are only told this after they have seen the poster, made an appointment and sat down to discuss their requirements.”

He adds: “This is abuse of the word advice and can only lead to customer confusion when it comes to who can give advice.” Simon Robins, director of Chase UK, says: “The word ad-vice is usually associated with independence and choice. Offering people pro-ducts from a singlelender is not advice.”

But Mike Davis, compliance director at BDS Group, says: “As long as Nationwide clearly sets outs its position on an IDD, it is being compliant. But when principles-based regulation kicks in brokers may be able to challenge promotions such as this if they consider them to be unfair.”

A spokeswoman for Nationwide says: “Every major lender gives advice on their own products and it’s fine to say we give advice on our products.

“This adheres to FSA regulations and we make no secret of how highly we value the advisers in our branches. We would promote independent advisers if it was necessary.”