Bluestone Mortgages has warned brokers that the needs of non-standard customers could end up being excluded from the development of open finance if advisers do not respond to the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Call for Input by next month.

According to Bluestone, open finance is set to play a crucial role in supporting non-standard borrowers, typically excluded from mainstream lending channels, with their financial decision-making in the future.

The number of underserved customers, such as those with adverse credit, is likely to grow following the pandemic, and Bluestone said that this will require additional support from brokers and lenders when it comes to accessing the relevant advice and securing lending.

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Bluestone has urged brokers across the mortgage market to respond to the FCA’s Call for Input on open finance, which closes on 1 October and will examine what is needed to ensure open finance develops in the best interests of consumers.

Steve Seal, managing director at Bluestone Mortgages, said: “Technology has been revolutionary in supporting consumers with their financial decisions; however, more needs to be done if non-standard customers are to benefit – numbers of which are expected to increase post COVID-19.

“This is why it is crucial that the future development of open finance focuses on the needs and interests of underserved customers, so that more can gain control over their financial decisions and engage with a wider variety of products and advice options in the future.

“As such, brokers have a responsibility to engage with the regulator’s Call for Input on behalf of all consumers, not just those in the financial mainstream.

“Any move to help borrowers understand the financial options available to them is a good thing, and ensuring the interests of ‘non-standard’ consumers are placed at the forefront of open finance’s development will go a long way towards improving financial inclusion in the UK.”