Just one in ten mortgage advisers has been found able to give adequate mortgage advice by a Which? money test.
Undercover research with a total of 50 mortgage advisers based in banks, brokerages and estate agencies found just four passed the Which? test for giving suitable advice.
More than 80% of the advisers visited failed to provide one or more key pieces of information, 70% failed to perform affordability checks and two thirds tried to sell insurance at the same time, often an unsuitable product.
Of the four advisers who did pass the test, three were independent, while the fourth was from Alliance & Leicester.
However, the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) criticised the report for failing to distinguish between salesmen and advisers.
Chris Cummings, director general of AMI, says: “First and foremost Which? says that consumers should always speak to an independent mortgage adviser.
“However, it would have been beneficial had the report clearly distinguished in its findings between the actions of independent advisers and those who sell products.”
Which? warns consumers to choose their mortgage adviser carefully to ensure they receive appropriate advice.
Martyn Hocking, money editor of Which?, says: “With mortgage costs soaring and the spectre of negative equity returning to the property market, it’s important that people get help to find the right deal.
“There are still more than 3,000 mortgage deals out there, and the difference in cost can be thousands of pounds a year, so it’s vital people do their homework and choose their adviser with care.”
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