As Banks Raise Standards, Fixes Suddenly Look More Attractive; FINANCE

The Mail on Sunday (London, England), February 21, 2010 | Go to article overview

As Banks Raise Standards, Fixes Suddenly Look More Attractive; FINANCE


Byline: Neil Simpson

It's wake-up time for more than two million borrowers who put remortgaging on hold while standard variable interest rates were at rock bottom levels.

For the past year, many assumed their lender's standard rate was unbeatable so they didn't consider any of the new fixes, trackers or discounts on the market. But latest figures show we're finally approaching a tipping point.

Standard rates are starting to rise as 'switch to' rates fall - and borrowers who don't act could end up sleepwalking from a best-buy to a rip-off rate almost overnight. WHO'S AFFECTED? The alarm call is sounding for anyone who reverted to their lender's standard variable interest rate in the past 18 months.

Commentators raved about how good value they were and said that every borrower should revert on to them when their existing fixes, trackers or discount deals ended.

But while Bank of England base rate hasn't changed in nearly a year, a host of lenders have started to increase their standard rates - sometimes by as much as 1.45 percent. As we reported last month, the sneaky increases mean the gap between the best and worst SVRs is widening.

If you're with one of our cheapest lenders (including Barclays, C&G and the Post Office) you'll be paying 2.5 per cent interest. If you're with our most expensive (Chesham Building Society) it's 6.45 per cent.

WHAT ELSE IS CHANGING? Higher standard rates wouldn't matter if they were still the bestvalue deals around. …

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As Banks Raise Standards, Fixes Suddenly Look More Attractive; FINANCE
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