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Google’s car insurance track record indicates mortgage service poses little threat

Google’s new mortgage comparison service poses little threat to incumbents, says digital marketing agency Greenlight based on the internet giant’s track record in the UK car insurance.

Google relaunched its UK mortgage comparison service after striking a deal with Avelo Trigold to provide whole of market mortgage data earlier this week.

Greenlight says Google’s past performance in the financial services sector, along with its brand association, does not suggest this latest venture will prove a strong new entrant.

Research from Greenlight shows Google’s entry into the credit card and car insurance sector had less than a 1 per cent impact on what people clicked on when they searched Google for those products.

According to Greenlight chief operating officer Andreas Pouros, the initial evidence suggests the same to be true for mortgages since Google is also not yet a brand consumers immediately associate with finance-related services.

He says: “There will likely be apprehension among competitors that Google will in time use its online search to position its comparison tool at the top of search results whenever any mortgage-related search is conducted using its engine.

“Any above-the-line advertising to raise its profile would arguably need to be kept to a bare minimum if Google is to avoid stoking further antagonism with the EU Commission.”

Others in the market have also questioned how Google’s new service will be received once the ban on execution-only mortgages is introduced in April 2014.

John Charcol senior technical director Ray Boulger asks if lenders will be prepared to take on more staff in order to guarantee advised sales happen as a consequence of internet leads.

He says: “Since this is basically execution only, it remains to be seen whether lenders are prepared to make that commitment, in terms of extra staff, or whether they consider it no longer financially viable.”

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