In the UK some mortgage brokers don't charge their clients. I wonder, how exactly do they pay their own living costs? Is it true that banks pay them? But then, if a bank pays a broker, can I be sure that they will get me the best mortgage, better than I could find myself on money supermarket, or any other website that compares mortgages?

1 Answer 1


In the UK, mortgage brokers are either paid by fees (paid by you, the borrower) or commission (paid by the mortgage-lender) - and sometimes both. They should make it very clear to you upfront which arrangement they use and what the fees or commission are.

Obviously, if you pay their fee then there is no conflict of interest and you know that they are finding the best possible deal for you. However, you are paying for this service.

If they are paid commission instead then they might be finding you the best deal for them. This is a good option to take if you are a) very cash strapped and don't want to pay the fees, and b) don't mind about only getting a "good enough" deal, and not "the best" deal. They are incentivised to make sure that the deal they offer you is good enough for you to accept it of course, otherwise they don't get paid at all, but beyond that they will choose the best deal for them.

There is more info about this here, which expands a bit on what I have written above.

  • 3
    This is a little oversimplified view of the effects of fees vs commission. Fee-based advice isn't guaranteed to be the "best possible", it still only needs to be "good enough" to get you to pay the fee. It can easily be the first "good enough" offer that the broker found, there's no incentive for them to spend more time looking further once they have something acceptable for you. The only way to find the "best possible" deal is to shop around, show what broker #1 offered you to broker #2 to make them try to find a better deal to get your money (and then repeat with broker #3, …).
    – TooTea
    Oct 16, 2021 at 18:54
  • 1
    Fair point @TooTea.
    – Vicky
    Oct 16, 2021 at 19:06
  • Dear Vicky, many thanks for the answer and for the link to the article. @TooTea thanks for the interesting advice!
    – aglearner
    Oct 16, 2021 at 19:09

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