17th March 2024

A letter To mortgage providers

We've asked Jersey’s main mortgage providers to explain why the mortgage rates on offer in the Island are significantly higher than those in their UK high street branches.

With housing costs being a significant driver in the cost of living in Jersey, and even the slightest fluctuation in interest rates meaning the difference of hundreds of pounds in monthly repayments costs, the Council is keen to ensure that Islanders are being treated fairly.

In a detailed letter, we've has asked lenders to explain the factors influencing their rates in Jersey, a comparative analysis of the market conditions in Jersey compared to the UK, what regulatory differences there may be and what efforts are made to keep consumers informed about mortgage rates and why they differ here.

The Council has written to Santander, NatWest, Barclay’s, HSBC, Lloyds and Skipton, all of whom were found to have at least a one per centage point or greater added to their local five year fixed rates compared to the UK rate.

Our Chairman, Carl Walker said: “The mortgage industry in Jersey seems to be another one of those areas where a Jersey Premium is being applied for no rational reason, and with housing and repayment costs taking up to a third of people’s salary in some cases, it is important to dig deeper into the market and understand better why Islanders are being charged more than their UK counterparts for effectively the same product in a much more financially secure housing market.

“We accept that most of the banks here are ring fenced and, in some areas, separate businesses to the UK banks under the same branding. However, mortgages offered to Jersey residents are intrinsically linked to the Bank of England’s interest rates so it does not seem right for banks to claim they are separate entities, but as soon as the BoE raises interest rates in the UK, Jersey’s mortgage providers do so within a few hours. They can’t have it both ways.

“With housing costs being such a huge driver of our local rate of inflation, we have already contacted both the Housing and Treasury Ministers, who are eagerly awaiting the responses we receive from the lenders. Once we have a better understanding of the local market, we can consider what, if anything, can be done. That could be pressure for more transparency, pressure to open up the market and make it more competitive or exploring any options through the regulatory route.”

Read the letter below:

Inquiry Regarding Basic Mortgage Rates Discrepancy

Dear Sir/Madam,

I hope this letter finds you well. I am writing to you on behalf of the Jersey Consumer Council, an organisation committed to advocating for the interests of consumers in Jersey. Our goal is to ensure transparency and fairness in the local market, and we have recently received inquiries from consumers regarding the observed differences between the basic mortgage rates offered by mortgage providers in Jersey compared to their parent or equivalent lenders in the UK.

We acknowledge that various factors contribute to the determination of mortgage rates, including market conditions, regulatory environments, and operational costs. However, in light of the concerns raised by consumers, we are seeking clarification from mortgage providers to better understand the justifications for the observed disparities.

Our Inquiry: We kindly request that you provide a detailed explanation justifying why the basic mortgage rates offered in Jersey are higher than those provided by your parent or equivalent lender in the UK. Specifically, we would appreciate information on the following:

  1. Factors Influencing Rates:
  • Clarification on the factors that contribute to the determination of basic mortgage rates in Jersey.
  • Any unique considerations that may lead to differences between rates in Jersey and the rates offered by your parent or equivalent lender in the UK.


  1. Competitive Analysis:
  • Comparative analysis of the mortgage market conditions in Jersey and the UK.
  • Information on how local market dynamics and competition are taken into account when setting mortgage rates.


  1. Regulatory Compliance:
  • Confirmation of compliance with all relevant regulatory requirements in Jersey.
  • Details on any regulatory differences that may impact mortgage rates in the two jurisdictions.


  1. Communication and Transparency:
  • Explanation of the communication strategy employed to inform consumers about the factors influencing mortgage rates.
  • Information on any initiatives in place to enhance transparency and consumer understanding of mortgage pricing.

Timeline for Response: We kindly request that you provide a comprehensive response to our inquiry within three weeks from the date of this letter. This will allow us to address consumer concerns and keep them informed of our progress in determining the reasons why, on the face of it, Jersey customers are treated differently to those in the UK, particularly when our jurisdiction offers a more stable housing market.

The Jersey Consumer Council values open communication and co-operation with industry stakeholders and believe that addressing these concerns will contribute to fostering a fair and transparent mortgage market in Jersey.

Please feel free to contact us if you require any further clarification or if there are specific details that may assist in providing a comprehensive response to our inquiry.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to your prompt response.


Carl Walker


cc. Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Elaine Millar and Minister for Housing, Deputy Sam Mézec