Mobile only Atom Bank made a splash last week when it launched the cheapest-ever five-year mortgage in the UK.
Offering rates of 1.29% and a reasonable £900 fee, the fixed-rate product was markedly cheaper than other comparable mortgages available.
Sadly for those hoping to take advantage, the deal was pulled yesterday – just one week after launching.
And it’s not the only financial product offer that’s had the ‘blink-and-you-miss-it’ treatment in recent times.
However, you can still find good deals by doing a bit of research and remaining flexible.
The new normal?
Tesco’s 3% current account was pulled within days of it promising the rate would be fixed until April 2019.
It’s only recently returned, with a couple of caveats thrown in to stem the flow of applicants.
Savings account rates are sometimes only available for a limited period too.
In any case, the trend for financial products seems to be moving towards ‘flash sales’, which are a big hit with clothing retailers and holiday companies.
What are flash sales?
Flash sales offer goods at vastly reduced price and disappear after a very short period of time.
Budget airlines regularly run them to boost ticket sales or generate interest in a new flight route.
And you can see the appeal to financial companies.
By offering a great rate for a short period, a bank can garner great publicity while limiting the total number of customers they take on board.
Andrew Montlake, director at mortgage broker Coreco, told the Financial Times:
“When you’re seeing deals like that — clearly designed to disrupt the market and attract attention — they don’t last long.”
The presents a new challenge for customers.
If a top mortgage can be launched and subsequently pulled in the space of a week, it means you effectively need to check for deals on an almost daily basis to avoid losing out.