IFA slams Abbey for Intermediaries over product claims
Adviser says sales bulletin lacked key information to compare the rating of the loans in comparison to peers.
An IFA has criticised Abbey for Intermediaries over a sales bulletin email that has been sent to advisers which he says could be “misleading” as it states the loans offered are the best value in the market without including key information needed to assess the products.
The alert, seen by FTAdviser, states the loans that form part of its HomeBuyer range are “number one against our competitors... when looking at true cost”.
However the adviser, who requested not to be named, highlighted that Abbey does not specify a loan amount, valuation figure, or loan term to evidence its assertions, all of which he said might affect the rating of the products in comparison to their peers.
A spokesperson for Afi said its analysis is based on the “overall cost of the mortgage”, which includes “the rate, fee and any solution the product comes with”.
The bulletin, aimed at intermediaries, lists loan to values, the headline interest rate, the type of deal it is and the fee across the HomeBuyer range. It states Afi is number one “for all products”.
The IFA said: “It says it is number one against the competition but who is the competition, who are they number one against? I would have liked to have put this into the sourcing system to see how it fared but I can only compare on the basis that I have the assumptions.”
He also warned that in his view Afi may be gaining an “unfair advantage” against other lenders through what he felt could prove to be an inaccurate claim depending on the variables to be number one for every product in the range.
He said: “At the end of the day we all have a duty when advertising or promoting our products to ensure that it’s accurate, well informed and meets industry standards. That applies whether you’re promoting direct to customers, or to intermediaries, some of whom may inadvertently convey that same message direct to a customer.”
A spokeswoman for Abbey for Intermediaries said: “We work closely with our intermediary partners to support them with great products and service.
“We are delighted to offer these fantastic deals to the intermediary market and our analysis is based on the overall cost of the mortgage, which includes the rate, fee and any solution the product comes with.”