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CMA: Brokers approve OSB-Charter Court merger and praise service

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  • 27/08/2019
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Brokers raised no concerns when responding to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) review of the One Savings Bank and Charter Court merger.

 

They also praised both OSB, parent company of Kent Reliance and Interbay, and Precise Mortgages’ parent Charter Court on their service levels and work with intermediaries.

As part of its enquiry into the merger, which was approved last month, the CMA questioned intermediaries and other third parties operating in the sector affected.

The final report, which has now been published showed brokers were largely content with the situation in the affected markets and saw little risk associated.

The CMA explored four key buy-to-let (BTL) markets where it saw potential competition issues with the merger – houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), portfolio landlords, limited company and expats.

No intermediaries expressed concerns about the impact of the merger in these segments.

Only one told the CMA there was slightly less, but still a reasonable amount of, choice for HMO customers.

 

Closely matched service

The CMA also noted that service quality was highlighted by intermediaries as important, alongside price and the criteria of a lender when considering recommendations.

“Internal documents and third-party responses indicated that the parties are closely matched in terms of the service they offer,” the CMA said.

“One intermediary noted that service levels were very important and noted that OSB has excellent service. It also mentioned that the service level of one of the parties’ main competitors had dropped recently compared to other lenders.

“Another intermediary explained that Charter Court works closely with brokers to ‘educate’ them in an ‘exceptional’ way,” the CMA added.

 

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