June 20 2004 marked 100 days since the publication of Professor David Miles' report on the UK mortgage market which recommended that mortgage lenders make their full range of products available to all borrowers. Nationwide has called on the industry to follow this recommendation as a matter of urgency.
The failure of the government, the FSA and the industry to respond in any detail on taking forward Miles' recommendation is hitting consumers in the pocket. Despite criticising the current mortgage pricing structure, most lenders have failed to take the easy option presented by Professor Miles of making their products available to all borrowers. This failure is costing UK consumers around £1bn a year.
Nationwide's mortgages have been available to new and existing borrowers since 2001. With interest rates rising it is now even more important for mortgage borrowers, especially those who have been loyal to their lenders, to receive fair value or to remortgage to a lender like Nationwide which is transparent and fair in its pricing structure.
We call on other lenders to follow our lead and make their full range of mortgages available to all. This means accepting both the spirit and letter of what Professor Miles said in his final report. For example, some mortgage lenders purport to make their full range of mortgage products available to all but when customers try to take advantage of this they find themselves charged for transferring to the new product.
To Nationwide, 'available to all' means treating existing and new borrowers in the same way. We have shown that it is possible to play fair with customers and win and we urge other lenders to follow suit. If they don't, it will be consumers who lose.