Should the Post Office just stick to selling stamps?

Published: 21/08/2012

First Tesco, now the Post Office has begun offering mortgages in its branches. So is this fresh blood just what the conveyancing and remortgage markets need, or is another non-advised service adding further fuel to a dangerous fire?

Mortgage sales is not a new concept to the Post Office, it previously offered mortgages online and through its telephone service. However the move in branch suggests customers rightly want a degree of help and advice as they commit to this huge financial obligation.

Despite introducing “mortgage specialists” the Post Office will not offer customers regulated advice. Instead customers will be given a free in-branch appointment to discuss their needs, yet they will receive information-only and not any advice.

Mike Cook, Head of Mortgages at the Post Office is aware of risks of non-regulated mortgage advice:

“If there is any sign of confusion on the part of the customer, we would recommend they seek independent financial advice, but we would not direct them to any specific firm or consultant.”

Since Tesco waded into the mortgage pool, while applauded for injecting some competition into the market, it has faced criticism over its decision to offer mortgages on a direct-only basis.

Content correct at time of publication

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