Trussle has stepped up its campaign to see a mortgage switch guarantee via a parliamentary reception.
Sponsored by shadow city minister Jonathan Reynolds MP, Atom Bank director of intermediary lending Maria Harris, Citizens Advice policy lead Morgan Wild, Trussle founder and chief executive Ishaan Malhi as well as the aforementioned minister gave speeches outlining why they believe that introducing a new set of standards to help customers avoid moving onto a standard variable rate is in the best interest for the customer.
Malhi introduced proceedings by pointing out that one in four mortgage borrowers are paying on average £375 a month in “unnecessary” interest cost, the solving of which would give an immediate 15 per cent pay rise to each household.
Reynolds was keen to remark on the “enormous benefit” that freeing up so much disposable income would have for the UK in terms of the economy and on the personal level: “There’s a purpose to this,” he said, “[and that] is getting people better services in order to increase their prosperity and their ability to handle the issues and changes they face in their own life. The mortgage switch guarantee is absolutely about that.
“This campaign is an absolutely crucial one and the kind of thing we need to see more of in the UK.”
In her speech, Harris listed three things she would like the mortgage industry to do in order to treat customers more fairly.
“Stop calling it an SVR. There is nothing standard about moving onto the last rate of default on the basis that you haven’t made any choices.
“I would like my fellow lenders to offer their customers the same access to real-time data that they can with Atom Bank. And to make it really easy for customers to know when their rate finishes, and what that means for them, along with the choices they have.
“Lenders should provide the best clarity and the most options, the most amount of choice, whether [the borrower] chooses to do that directly and stay with their existing lender, move to another lender, or to go back to an intermediary and get advice,” Harris specified.
The final person to stand behind the lectern, Wild, said that, “often we find that people who come to us for help are on absolutely shocking rates, and have been for some years. They don’t have the confidence or the time, perhaps have a series of debts and are finding it hard to make ends meet… and firms have been able to rip them off as a consequence.”
He also remarked on the unusual relationship some industries have with loyal customers: “In markets that work well people expect to be rewarded for loyalty. Companies compete to win loyalty. In markets such as energy and broadband and mortgages you don’t see that. Prices are jacked up because people have forgotten to switch at the first opportunity.
“Trussle has done a great job to highlight that the penalty can be even bigger than the FCA says. But even if you take the FCA’s figures, almost 1m people are losing £1,000 a year.”
“It is absolutely crucial to put pressure on the providers to do better by the customers and to treat them fairly,” concluded Malhi, bookending the event in closing the speeches, before explaining his vision in a more visceral manner:
“Many people have already commented on the similarities between this and the current switch guarantee and there is no coincidence in that.
“We believe that there could be, in a year or two years’ time, something like this [logo, pictured above] could be stuck on every storefront of every lender on every high street, once we get everyone campaigning for the mortgage switch guarantee.”