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FSA makes Cheshire Mortgage Corporation change contract terms

Cheshire Mortgage Corporation, part of the Blemain Group, has changed the terms in its mortgage contract after the Financial Services Authority deemed its original wording unfair.

The FSA felt the original wording of the lender’s 2004 and 2006 contracts gave the firm unrestricted power to vary interest rates without specifying valid reasons for doing so.

It believed the terms had the potential to cause consumer detriment because they could result in monthly mortgage payments being increased in an unpredictable and non-transparent way.

Cheshire Mortgage Corporation has now amended the terms so that they list a valid reason for which the interest rate applicable to the mortgage can be increased or decreased, namely, because of a proportionate response to an increase or decrease in the cost of funding.

The firm has also agreed to provide consumers with 14 days’ notice of any change in the interest rate.

The lender says it has not varied the interest rate for any reason other than the one provided in the new term so does not believe there has been any customer detriment.

The firm has also agreed to treat existing customers according to the new term.

It will contact its existing customers to notify them about the changes to the contract.

A spokesman for Cheshire Mortgage Corporation, says: “We have reached agreement with the FSA on language used to communicate reasons for interest rate changes in our 2004 and 2006 mortgage terms.

“The undertaking confirms that all necessary steps are now being taken to explain potential reasons for rate changes to those customers who received the 2004 and 2006 terms and that in CMC’s view no customers have suffered any detriment as result of this matter.

“The FSA acknowledged that Cheshire was fully co-operative in providing its undertakings and was proactive in identifying issues and solutions.”

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  • Bob Singh 16th March 2012 at 9:21 am

    Dear FSA
    Please look at Prestige Finance too
    Their contract says they will reduce interest rates if base rate falls by 2%. Base rates did fall from 5 to 0.5 but ( wait for it ) their fine print says they had to fall by 2% in ONE GO!!!
    That’s an impossible event and hence why thousands of borrowers are stuck on 15%
    This is clearly an unfair term and should be investigated by the FSA.

  • anon 15th March 2012 at 2:43 pm

    I wonder if they would deem Halifaxs cap that is not a cap unfair.?