Protection sales could suffer as online mortgage searches fall

Effect not yet known of slump in online mortgage activity

There is more worrying news today for some players in the protection industry as new figures suggest that there has been a substantial fall in the number of internet searches for mortgages.

While UK online searches for loans saw a 6% rise in July from January levels, totalling 966,202 in the month, those for mortgages, which in January accounted for the “lion’s share” of retail banking-related searches, dropped 14%.

Specialist search and social marketing agency Greenlight, which compiled the figures, said that the number of searches conducted on Google UK for mortgages, loans, bank accounts and debit and credit cards totalled 2.5 million in July, 4.6% on January’s 2.7 million. Searches for mortgages fell from 951,923 in January to 818,088 in July.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that around half of many insurance companies’ protection sales are related to mortgages.

In August the Financial Services Authority said that the slump in the mortgage market was hitting protection providers and intermediaries. However, market analyst Defaqto recently said that the slump provides more opportunities for advisers to sell short-term income protection products to consumers.

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