Rate sites moving beyond brokers

Rate sites moving beyond brokers

The rate comparison business ain’t necessarily what it used to be, with one of the industry’s biggest lead-generation sites now looking beyond mortgages to ordinary savings and chequing accounts.

RateSupermarket.ca has now added a slate of bank account and investment comparisons to its existing platform focused on mortgages.

“Our latest product comparisons are another step towards … providing consumers with all the information they need to make more informed decisions about their money." said Kelvin Mangaroo, president of RateSupermarket.ca. "If you're also paying over the top for fees on your chequing account you could be missing out on hundreds of dollars over time."

The new comparisons will see the site court deep-pocked banks in the same way it has attracted mortgage brokers looking to use the site to generate leads, usually through an emphasis on rates.

Brokers critical of that model argue it reduces the value proposition of mortgage professionals to just rate. Others have heralded those sites as a valuable tool in winning rate-sensitive clients otherwise prepared to go to the bank.

Mangaroo rejects suggestions that his move to expand his offerings speak to increased competition from a growing number of mortgage sites.

"We've always had the multiple comparison, not just mortgages," he told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. "Certainly, there are more mortgage comparision sites now, but it really hasn't affected us. It definitely been a good thing in terms of creating greater consumer awareness."

Still, some brokers who use the sites have also questioned the costs associated with online generation through rate sites, arguing the leads are hyper-sensitive to rates forcing brokers to buy down at the same time they yield little in the way of referrals.