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Friday, 10 December, 1999, 13:13 GMT
New website promises 'best mortgage'




The internet is promising to bring cut-price competition to UK personal finance with the launch on Saturday of a new website, Money Supermarket.

The Property Maze
The site claims that - unlike its competitors - it offers British consumers the ability to compare every single mortgage deal available, and to see immediately if they are being ripped off.

The site even claims to be able to tell them precisely how much they can save by changing to another company.

Money Supermarket is the brainchild of Simon Nixon - a mortgages expert who redesigned the software used by brokers to produce the new online service.

Launch

From its launch, Money Supermarket aims to have mortgage, conveyancing, credit card and personal loan services on tap.

By the end of January, Mr Nixon says, there will also be savings accounts and Isas - with more to follow.

He says: "The site includes details from every single mortgage lender in the UK - 165 in all.

"At first, consumers will only be able to buy products from the 35 market leaders - who between them hold a 60% market share - but this will rise.

"It also compares very favourably with our main competitor, John Charcol - who has only about 25 lenders to choose from."

Competition

But with even more sites offering similar financial services already around - such as Moneyextra, Promise, Emfinance, Interactive Investor International, and Freeserve - and many more sure to appear, what does Mr Nixon reckon makes Money Supermarket stand out?

"We feel we have an edge over all other sites through our technology. As well as listing all lenders, we have more functionality on the site.

"For example, through our mortgage health check facility it is easy for consumers to see how their deal compares with the best now available - and how much they could save by changing."

Mr Nixon says analysts have estimated that 80% of mortgage holders could save money by changing company - even taking into account redemption penalties.

Remortgage analysis

He also says: "We keep the details of anyone who buys a mortgage through our site on our database, and these are constantly checked against new deals coming on the market.

"As soon as a better buy is available, we will alert the customer by e-mail who can then choose whether to change."

Money Supermarket claims to be able to search 4,000 mortgage, 400 credit card, and 400 personal loan deals and produce a tailored list for each customer.

If it works, it will be another step on the way to bringing about the "perfect knowledge" economists have always said consumers need if competition is to work most effectively.

And, in theory at least, perfect competition brings about the best possible prices.

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See also:
20 Oct 99 |  Business
A guide through the mortgage maze
16 Sep 99 |  Your Money
Mortgage advice is 'unreliable'
14 Oct 99 |  Your Money
Mortgage giants shamed
07 Dec 99 |  Business
Nationwide quits endowments
11 Oct 99 |  Your Money
Homebuying shake-up
02 Dec 99 |  Business
UK house price boom is cooling
11 Oct 99 |  Your Money
Let the property buyer beware

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