Time to break big lenders’ stranglehold on the market

It\'s about time the Competition Commission investigated the stranglehold that HBOS and a handful of other len-ders including Abbey, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds TSB/Cheltenham & Gloucester and Nationwide have on the mortgage market.

Are these firms using the credit crunch as an excuse to increase their margins with expensive products and possible reductions in proc fees?

They have been allowed to take a majority share of the market and with few other lenders now able to complete even for prime business, where does this leave customers?

With the Bank of England base rate at 5%, we are still seeing products priced well above 6% and a bias to-wards longer term fixed rates. Can this be blamed on the credit crunch?

I’m beginning to wonder who is running the country. Billions of pounds of taxpayers’ money have been pumped into the system to sort out the Northern Rock mess and encourage banks to lend to each other. Meanwhile, we are seeing higher mortgage costs, higher taxation and rising fuel and food bills.

It will be interesting to see if the profits of these institutions are hit as hard as the pockets of consumers.

It’s time NR was run as a properly nationalised institution to compete with the big lenders and put some mon-ey back into taxpayers’ pockets instead of funding the lavish lifestyles of bank executives.

Martyn Richards
Independent mortgage broker Asset Mortgage Solutions Abertillery
South Wales