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Marketwatch: RBS fine reminds us advice needs to be spot on

As the bank branches get fined once again, we are all reminded our advice needs to be spot on and there is no room for complacency

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Welcome back for another episode of Banking in Distress: A modern tale of disorganisation set among the gritty backdrop of a grey high street somewhere in Britain. This week’s episode involves Royal Bank of Scotland, which was fined £14.5m for issues around mortgage advice. In a cameo role, Deutsche Bank dropped £4.7m for reporting issues.

It is a shame the industry is blighted yet again but it does seem that the new MMR guidelines and advice process have arrived right on time. All of us need to ensure that our advice is spot on and it is worth reading some of the issues the FCA highlighted.

I do seem to remember some pretty bold claims by some lenders about their own advisers vs brokers and it shows that we need to get our own house in order first before casting aspersions elsewhere.

In the markets this week three-month Libor is about the same at 0.562 per cent while swap rates have tumbled further. Five-year money is the lowest it has been since 11 April by my, albeit unscientific and scruffy records.

1-year money is down 0.01 at 0.785 per cent   
2-year money is down 0.02 at 1.23 per cent
3-year money is down 0.04 at 1.53 per cent
5-year money is down 0.08 at 1.915 per cent

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Product-wise, it seems to have been a slow week with not many changes. Santander made changes with its two-year tracker deal at 60 per cent LTV priced at just 1.79 per cent. There is a £995 arrangement fee but no early repayment charges.

It also has new products at 85 per cent LTV with a two-year fix at 2.89 per cent with a £995 fee and a five-year fix at 3.99 per cent with a £495 fee. As well as this, a £250 remortgage cashback offer for non-professional landlords.

Virgin Money is still stripping off for summer despite the rain, with its fees being axed on selected five-year fixes while West Brom, Yorkshire and Clydesdale have launched new products across their ranges. The Mortgage Works has increased its maximum loan size to £500,000 at 70 per cent LTV.

Precise has rebooted its entire product range while Accord has made further cuts to buy-to-let products. Its two-year fixed rates at 65 per cent LTV are reduced by 0.25 per cent and 3 year fixes at 75 per cent LTV reduced by 0.1 per cent.

For those of you who love qualifications there is always the new CII level 4 advanced mortgage certificate to add to the list. This will be available from September
to be taken online.

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Finally, Grenville Turner’s last day at Countrywide was last week and it seems fitting to salute a true legend in the industry. What always impressed me was the way that, however senior, he had time for everyone, expressing his opinions in a down-to-earth manner and often with great humour.

I have personally learnt much, as well as stolen the odd soundbite, OK maybe a few, from Grenville and so I thank you for the time you have always given me.

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