HSBC has hurried to stress that it is the only bank which does not charge mortgage exit administration fees in the wake of a call from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) for providers to tighten up their charging practices when customers complete mortgage payments or switch to another provider.
After warning providers to examine their exit administration fee procedures in June last year, the FSA announced last week that an investigation was being launched.
"HSBC has a reputation for providing mortgages that are transparently priced … we choose not to charge our mortgage customers exit fees," the bank's head of mortgages, Rob Chesters, said in a statement.
Amid a marked silence from other lenders, financial advisers Moneysupermarket.com welcomed the FSA's move, urging customers to look for fixed 'guaranteed exit rates' instead of simply comparing headline rates when choosing their mortgage.
Louise Cuming, Moneysupermarket's head of mortgages, 'named and shamed' Standard Life and Britannia Building Society as "culprits" who had recently raised their exit fees.
Meanwhile, consumer body Which? urged customers to "challenge their provider if they feel they have paid more than they originally agreed".
"These fees should only represent the administration costs involved," stated personal finance campaigner Emma Bandey. For more information about flexible mortgages, click here.
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