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Sales and Advice

Product suitability checklist

In order to evidence TCF during the advice process you need to record the reasons for the final product recommendation. The checklist below, which you can download and adapt for your business, is designed to help you do this. (In further support of TCF you could link satisfactory completion of this document to targets and rewards. It could also form the basis of a tailored suitability letter.)

Bear in mind that this is a guide only. Please refer to the MCOB (Mortgage Conduct of Business Rules) for the detailed rules on assessing suitability.

Product suitability checklist

Preferred/rejected product features check:
(From Fact Find – please list items of key relevance)

Full Status/Self Certification check:

  • Proof of income available?  Yes/No
  • Is the required completion date flexible? Yes/No
  • Does the required completion date prevent the customer from providing proof of income? Yes/No
  • If the completion date prevents the customer from providing proof of income, please say why

Affordability check:

Did the customer provide statements confirming key debts/outgoings and income?  (Optional but recommended.)
If yes, say which. If no, say why.

Does the information provided indicate that the customer could afford the mortgage payments based on the requested loan size and duration of the loan – and ?  Yes/No/N/A

Where evidence of outgoings and/or income wasn’t provided, are you satisfied based on the information you’ve received that the customer could afford the mortgage for the duration of the loan?  Yes/No   Please give reasons for your answer.

Does your assessment of income take this into account after tax has been deducted?  Yes/No

If an interest only mortgage is being recommended without a repayment vehicle, how will the customer repay the loan? Please give detail that will confirm that there will be sufficient funds.

Debt consolidation check:

Has the customer tried to negotiate with their current lender? Yes/No 
Give outcome and advice to customer.

Is the long-term extra cost of converting their loan into a mortgage suitable in the circumstances? If yes, say why.

Does the customer understand and accept the extra long-term cost?  Yes/No

Suitable product availability

Do you have access to one or more suitable products for this customer?  Yes/No
If no, then a sale should not proceed.

Products considered and discussed with the customer
Please list:

Final product choice

Name of lender/product/rate:

Influencing factors and reason for final choice
(To form the basis of a suitability letter):

  • summarise the reasons by referring back to Fact Find/ Product Suitability answers 
  • if this wasn’t the least expensive based on the stated key features of importance to the customer, please say why you used another criteria
  • if a Self Certification mortgage is recommended where proof of income was available, please ensure that you have indicated why

Product understanding check – customer questions

One of the desired outcomes of TCF is that “Consumers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect…”

In support of TCF, you could run through the questions below with the customer when recommending a product - using the KFI as a sales aide. When doing so try to elicit the facts rather than a yes/no answer: this way you can be sure that your customer understands what they are buying.

  • Are you happy that you understand how this mortgage product works?/How does this mortgage work?
  • Do you understand what your monthly payments will be?
  • Do you understand when rates might change on this product?
  • Do you understand what fees you need to pay:
    • before you buy it?
    • if you decide to repay the mortgage before the end of the term?
  • Do you understand what charges apply if you don’t make your payments on time?
  • How will the mortgage be repaid at the end of the term (interest only mortgage)?

Are you satisfied that the customer understands the key features and costs of this mortgage?  Yes/No

The customer should only proceed with the mortgage if you are confident that they understand the answers to the above questions.

FSA links

Send a link to this page to a colleague
Download the "product suitability checklist" document