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Covid-19

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Partner Updates

Following recent Government announcements relating to Covid-19 , a number of our partners (across our Mortgage, Protection and GI panels) have updated their policies. To make it easy for you to see these all in one place, we have created this page which will be updated as and when new information is available.

GOVERNMENT SUPPORT FOR BUSINESSES

Read the government’s guidance here.

Payment Holidays offered to Help to Buy homeowners affected by Covid-19

Homeowners who are struggling to pay interest fees on their Help to Buy equity loans will be offered payment holidays, the Government has announced.

Yesterday the Government announced mortgage lenders had agreed to support customers experiencing personal financial difficulties as a result of Coronavirus (Covid-19), including through payment holidays, among other options.

This approach will also be adopted where necessary for Help to Buy customers paying interest on their Equity Loans.

Read the government’s guidance here.

As the Covid-19 coronavirus continues to impact people, their families and communities across the world it is clearly an anxious time for everyone.

To ensure you can continue to support your clients, we wanted to update you on the measures we are taking to ensure we can offer the best possible service in these unique circumstances.

FAQs

  1. How can we get in touch with you?
  2. Do you have a payment holiday policy in place for borrowers who cannot make their mortgage payments due to Coronavirus?
  3. Do you have a defined policy or is each instance dealt with on a case by case basis?
  4. Would you prefer direct contact or can an intermediary act on a clients’ behalf?
  5. How long can payment holidays last for?
  6. What evidence will be required to qualify for a coronavirus payment holiday?
  7. How quickly can a decision typically be reached?
  8. Once the payments are rolled onto the main balance, will the term be automatically extended or the monthly payments increased?
  9. How will the non-payment be recorded with credit reference agencies?
  10. How can customers get in touch with you?

Read the full article here.

20 March 2020

Our Coronavirus Hub on our website has been updated with Protection specific FAQs.

The hub address is www.aegon.co.uk/coronavirus.html and we have a dedicated Protection section within the FAQs.

Just to summarise a couple of areas for protection:

  • only the Claims phone line is open for now – for everything else email us via the addresses in the email below or use our online services.
  • we’ve updated the medical evidence question to highlight that we’re no longer requesting this
  • we’re temporarily suspending our Immediate Cover Facility as we are no longer requesting medical evidence. This facility is an option that can be selected on Relevant Life and our Business Protection menu.
26 March 2020

The Affirmative Team are open for business with the same operating hours, however are working with reduced staff levels.

Please contact a member of their team should you have any queries:

Ian Harrison – Operations Director
07786 370523 Ian@affirmative.co.uk

Jade Esterkin – South, South East and South West
07958 000525 Jade@affirmative.co.uk

Daniel Esterkin – South, South East and South West
07793 556202 Daniel@affirmative.co.uk

Kyne Mcallister – North West, Midlands and Wales
07894 697799 kyne@affirmative.co.uk

Adam Tauber – Auction & Professional
07876 880888 adam@affirmative.co.uk

25 March 2020

Individual Protection – Coronavirus Q&A’s

AIG have pulled together a list of Questions and Answers from brokers on Individual Protection and client outcome from Coronavirus.

Read the questions for a better understanding of the impact this will have…

19 March 2020

Aldermore COVID-19 Customer Site

Aldermore have released a new dedicated COVID-19 page which includes FAQs for customers and a new form for the to complete to apply to defer their mortgage payments, which they need to send to mortgagepayments@aldermore.co.uk.

25 March 2020

COVID-19 Updates

Here you will find links to all of Aviva’s latest news and views relating to COVID-19

From Aviva for Advisers

  • Protection

Coronavirus: your individual protection questions answered

  • Business Updates

The impact of coronavirus – our business resilience

  • Investments

Market volatility and coronavirus

Can central bankers calm investors’ nerves? Catch up on our Aviva Investors webinar

Volatile stock markets – when in doubt, do nothing

19 March 2020

Affected by coronavirus?

If you’re worried about your finances because of coronavirus (COVID-19), we’re ready to help. Get in touch using the contact details below if you’d like to talk to us about the ways we may be able to make thing easier, including:

Mortgages – you might be eligible for either a repayment holiday of up to 90 days or to move to an interest-only payment for up to 12 months.

Barclaycard – we won’t charge late payment or cash advance fees for the next 90 days, and you might be able to increase your credit limit to help you in an emergency.

Fixed savings account – we may be able to remove penalty charges for withdrawing your money early.

If you’re worried that coronavirus will affect your finances, or you’re already experiencing some difficulties, we’re here to help on the numbers below.

  • Barclaycard – 0800 046 8324. Lines are open every day from 9am to 9pm
  • Barclayloan and overdrafts – 0345 600 4545. Lines are open Monday to Sunday from 8am to 9pm
  • Mortgages – 0800 022 4022. Lines are open Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5.30pm, and Saturday from 9am to 1pm
  • Premier – 0800 9247 365. Lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Call charges

If you’ve missed a Barclayloan payment, we’ll contact you soon to discuss your options. But if you’d like to speak to us in the meantime, please call 0345 734 5345. Lines are open Monday to Sunday from 7am to 11pm.

19 March 2020

Bank of Ireland

The safety and well-being of Bank of Ireland customers, brokers and colleagues during the current Covid-19 outbreak is their top priority. They are closely monitoring developments and making changes as appropriate in response to the situation.
They will update this document as things change.

  • Current service
  • Service standards
  • Where should advisers direct customers?
  • Payment breaks
  • Missed or late payments
  • Interest only options
  • Contingency plans
  • Solicitor panel
  • Valuations
  • ID requirements
  • Procuration fee payments

Useful links
Bank of Ireland for Intermediaries – https://www.bankofireland4intermediaries.co.uk/about-us/covid-19/
Post Office for Intermediaries – https://www.postoffice4intermediaries.co.uk/about-us/covid-19/
Payment break request form – https://www.bankofirelanduk.com/mortgages/existing-customer/coronavirus-support/
Your customer’s mortgage hub – https://www.bankofirelanduk.com/mortgages/existing-customer/customer-hub/

24 March 2020

In light of the ongoing situation relating to COVID-19, Eserve wanted to let you know about the measures they are taking to ensure they continue to balance the individual needs of our colleagues with the service we provide for our clients and customers.

Their focus remains the wellbeing of their employees and customers, particularly vulnerable customers whose specific needs them to acknowledge. Their response to the COVID-19 outbreak is informed by guidance from the UK government and as this evolves, so will they.

As a responsible surveying firm whose business relies on their ability to conduct timely and accurate property valuations and inspections, they are developing contingencies and working with their clients to agree solutions, should physical valuations become untenable in any area of the UK.

However, as events unfold, Eserve will continue to find new ways to support their colleagues, clients and customers during this period of uncertainty to supplement the range of measures they have already put in place:

  • Internal response team meets daily to review their position in response to the latest developments and guidance and coordinate communication with their colleagues, clients and customers
  • Eserve have increased stocks of protective and hygiene equipment – disposable gloves, protective masks, hand sanitiser, disposal wipes – for use by their surveyors and support teams in their daily activities
  • We have amended our booking process to ensure we assess the risks to all before an inspection proceeds. No inspection will proceed if the risks to the surveyor or home occupier are assessed to be high
  • Their most vulnerable colleagues have been given the option to withdraw from higher-risk activities and will be deployed to more appropriate tasks
  • Their Management team has been split into two teams to preserve senior presence in the event of wider infection
  • In order to protect their booking function, 75% of colleagues now have the equipment needed to work from home, offering further resilience should their main operating sites experience any difficulties
  • They have established a dedicated information hub on their company-wide intranet, to ensure their colleagues have access to the latest information and can channel their questions and concerns for a considered response.

Thank you for your continued support.
The consideration and understanding they show each other will help to sustain their all through these unprecedented times.

If you have any questions, please email: helpline@esurv.co.uk

24 March 2020

Coventry for intermediaries makes changes to their physical valuation.

Coventry for intermediaries has made some changes to their valuation policy in line with the new government rules around social distancing as surveying firms have put on hold physical property inspections.

Residential

On Residential purchase and remortgage they have increased the maximum LTV for AVM/remote valuations on houses from 75% LTV to 85% LTV.

If the application is for a flat the maximum LTV will be 50%.

For applications up to 85% LTV it will remain business as usual. They will continue to accept applications with a LTV higher than 85%. These will be processed to the point of valuation and kept on hold until a physical valuation can be performed.

BTL

There are no changes to their policy for BTL purchases, and they will continue to accept applications, which will be processed to the point of valuation and then kept on hold until a physical valuation can be performed.

For BTL remortgages they will allow AVM/remote valuations up to a maximum of 75% LTV for houses and 50% LTV for flats.

Pipeline

To support brokers and minimise the impact on their clients in this difficult time, they will use an AVM/remote valuation on all Residential and BTL pipeline cases regardless of LTV. This will be the case for all pipeline business submitted up to and including Thursday 26th March, where a valuation has not already taken place.

All changes will come into effect from 9am Friday 27th March.

26 March 2020

Coventry Building Society issues response to Coronavirus

The Coventry have created a COVID-19 FAQs document to help you understand their revised Payment Holiday policy.

View the guide here.

25 March 2020

First2Protect have withdrawn their combined Rent Guarantee and Legal Cover product and their stand-alone Legal Cover product from their Buy to Let insurance for any new business.

19 March 2020

An FAQs page can now be found on the Foundation Home Loans website to help with Covid-19 business queries for brokers.

https://www.foundationforintermediaries.co.uk/contact-us/covid-19-faqs/

26 March 2020

We’re facing a truly unprecedented situation. The next few weeks and months are going to be a challenge and every day will change, but I wanted to let you know the whole Guardian team is doing everything we can to keep things as normal as possible for you and your clients, as well as all our employees.
I’m proud that we’ve been able to respond quickly to the rapid developments over the last week to protect the well-being of our employees. Having run a successful test on Monday and Tuesday this week, by Wednesday we fully transitioned all employees to home working, and our office is closed until further notice. Other than working remotely it’s business as usual for us at the moment.
We’ll continue to update you as and when things change, but please do get in touch if we can help at all.

23 March 2020

Holiday Payments

The Hanley will off this as an option.

They will work with every borrower during these difficult times to support them through their mortgage payments. They have a range of forbearance measures including interest only and payment holidays, which will be discussed on a case by cases basis with each borrower.

As always, they urge brokers and borrowers to contact them as soon as possible in the event of difficulty to ensure the best solution is put in place.

25  March 2020

As the situation changes, Hodge wanted to share some more information, answering some of your questions on Covid-19. Keep an eye on our Covid-19 page for updates.

Can I still get hold of you as normal?
Yes, our telephone business development managers, underwriters and customer service representatives are fully operational and working hard to maintain customer service levels. Please continue to contact them in the usual ways, through email, by phone and web chat.

How can I contact my BDM?
All scheduled meetings with our BDMs will continue to take place, however, they’ll now be making the most of phone or virtual meetings, utilising facetime, Skype and other phone and video conferencing facilities.
You can use their BDM finder to find your local business development manager but any one of their team will be able to help. They’ve also uploaded all their BDM’s contact numbers.

Are you offering mortgage payment holidays?
Your customers probably have lots of questions about payment holidays. Hodge Lifetime put together a list of FAQs where they try to answer some of the most common you’ll face.

23 March 2020

Iress are here for you and your business

The coronavirus pandemic has brought uncertainty and disruption to daily life. One of the ways society will navigate this crisis is with sound management and guidance by financial professionals. It’s our job to help you, your colleagues and the financial services community do that through technology.

From today, you can access free technology-related information and support in a dedicated online hub. These resources cover practical ways to stay connected to your clients, your people and your business while working from home.

Please feel free to share the content with your colleagues and get in touch if there’s more specific help we can give you.

On behalf of everyone at Iress, stay safe and stay connected.

Visit their COVID-19 Support Hub here

26 March 2020

Support for existing mortgage customers

As the impact of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is felt across the UK thier priority is the wellbeing of our customers, partners and colleagues and they are closely monitoring the developing situation and continue to follow official guidelines.

The situation is changing on a daily basis and they will endeavour to keep you updated on key areas to help you inform your own colleagues and customers. One such area is the support available to existing mortgage customers.

 

What’s happening?

With immediate effect, customers who have been impacted* by Covid-19 will be offered payment holidays for up to 3 months

  • To help customers restore financial stability, customers who have been impacted by Covid-19 will be offered Payment Holidays of up to 3 months where the following criteria is met;
    • Customers whose mortgage payments are up to date, impacted by Covid-19
    • Customers who are entering arrears / already in arrears (1-2 months) as a direct result of Covid-19.
  • The Public websites are being updated with additional support and guidance and they are encouraging customers to visit here for more information, or to get in touch with them if they are affected to see how they can help
  • Their Intermediary websites will be updated with additional support and guidance.  They would encourage intermediaries to check regularly for updates
  • Intermediaries should ask their customers to contact them directly via the details below

 

Why is this happening?

It is important that they help their customers and intermediary partners through these difficult times and provide as much support and guidance as possible.

Support

Halifax
Intermediaries should guide their Halifax customers towards the public site – here
The site has been updated to provide information on the support available across all product types including mortgages.  The Halifax public site now contains a link whereby a customer can apply for a payment holiday online. They will then respond back within 2-3 working days (depending on volumes) via text message to confirm if their payment holiday request has been accepted.

 

BM Solutions
Intermediaries should ask their BM Solutions customer to call 0345 300 2627 Option 5, Option 2, Option 1 (specific to payment holiday). Colleagues in our existing business team will assist with the payment holiday request.

 

Scottish Widows Bank
Advisers should guide their Scottish Widows Bank customers to phone 0800 001 5145, where they will receive assistance with their request

 

Additional Information

  • If a customer has applied for a payment holiday and been accepted, this will not impact their credit file
  • Where we have said customers won’t get charged for a missed payment, if a payment holiday has not been agreed this will however affect their credit file if at the end of the month, the customer is one or more months in arrears
  • We’ll recalculate the monthly payments at the end of the payment holiday and the amount a customer owes us will go up. That’s because even though they miss payments due to the payment holiday, we will still add interest to their mortgage
  • *Some examples where customers may be impacted by Covid-19 (non-exhaustive)
    • Customer or family member has contracted the virus
    • Customer self-isolating and unable to work or have a reduced income
    • Customer income has been negatively impacted as a direct result of the Covid-19 general situation

 

Enquiries
Please contact your National Account Manager if you have any additional queries

23 March 2020

Knowledge Bank, has provided brokers with a single point of reference for all criteria and policy relating to the COVID-19 situation.

It has created a completely free tool for brokers to access the information they need to best equip them to deal with the volume of enquiries that they are receiving from their clients.

This tool, like Knowledge Bank, is updated in real-time by the lenders themselves as they announce their policy changes over the coming days.

Knowledge Bank will also be responsive, adding more questions and answers around this subject, as they emerge in the coming days and weeks so brokers always have the clearest picture of the entire situation.

This will save brokers’ valuable time and save them needing to call each individual lender for the answers. It will also reduce the pressure on the lender’s intermediary teams and the unprecedented demand for information that they have experienced since this was announced.

All of the criteria relating to COVID-19 issues are also available on the main Knowledge Bank system for existing users along with details of all of the other lending criteria that has changed as lenders make adjustments to their appetite for risk. Also on the main system are live details detailing whether lenders have temporarily suspended accepting new applications and other vital information that brokers need at this time. A free 30 day trial of the full system is still available at https://www.yourknowledgebank.co.uk/join

Access the free guide here.

19 March 2020

We’re here to help you and your clients throughout the current uncertainty

We understand these are challenging times for you and your clients and want to assure you that we are doing everything we can to provide help where needed.  As this is a constantly evolving situation, with many unanswered questions, we feel it is important that we maintain regular contact with you, on updates that may be affecting your new and existing clients.

As you can probably imagine we are experiencing extremely high call volumes, with wait times for customers sometimes in excess of 60 minutes. We’re available to help all our customers and our team are doing their best under difficult circumstances, but we are also aware that they may be contacting you with many questions – and that you too may have questions for us that we want to respond to.

To help alleviate any concerns you may have about how Covid-19 may impact your cases with us and the impact on your clients, we have developed some frequently asked questions, which we hope will help provide the reassurance you may be looking for.

We have also provided some customer focused frequently asked questions for your clients, which you can read here: https://www.kensingtonmortgages.co.uk/existing-customers/covid-19

  • Are you continuing to lend?
  • I notice the 95% LTV rates have been removed from the Residential range, and that the 85% LTV rates have been removed from the Buy to Let range – why is this and will the be available again?
  • Will you be changing any of your rates again soon?
  • I have a case in progress on one of your withdrawn products, will this still be accepted?  
  • Is the lead time for my new cases going to be longer now?
  • Are you still offering products with cashback / free legal aid / free valuations?
  • Are you still carrying out valuations? 
  • Is your third party free legal partner still operating and how?
  • Can I call you on behalf of my client?
  • My client is already in arrears and concerned they could have their home repossessed, will you be making exceptions?
  • My client is already in arrears and very worried about the affect that Covid-19 could have on them?
  • My client is asking me if they can have a payment holiday, what should I tell them?  

 

What number should I give my client if they need to contact you?

0333 300 0921, 9am – 5.30pm Monday to Friday.
Please bear in mind there may be wait times in excess of 60 minutes due to high call volumes.

Read more

23 March 2020

Keystone changes to remote working for all staff as a precautionary measure against coronavirus outbreak

We will be changing to remote working for all our staff including head office from Wednesday 18th March as a precautionary measure to protect the health and safety of our team amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Our investment in our online systems means we are 100% cloud based which allows all staff members to work remotely from home to do so. This includes our telephone services which will enable us to continue to assist brokers with their cases and enquiries. We expect to be able to continue with our service as near to normal as possible.

At Keystone we have already taken the decision to halt face to face meetings between our external Business Development Managers (BDMs) and brokers. The team now offers meetings via video call, as well as being contactable through email and telephone. Our BDMs will also not be attending any events in an effort to reduce the risk posed to our staff and wider team.

We will continue to monitor the guidelines set out by the UK Government closely and should the situation change we will act accordingly.

Video Meetings

To book a video meeting with your local BDM you simply need to email them with a time and date of your desired meeting and your BDM will do the rest. Visit our meet the team page to find out more about your local BDM.

19 March 2020

Supporting our brokers and their customers is of the utmost importance at this time, as is maintaining the health and safety of our teams.

With this in mind, following Government advice, members of our broker liaison team are now working from home. They’re still here to answer your pre-application enquiries via live chat on our website or by email at brokers@krbs.com.

We also know a number of you have questions around mortgage payment holidays for your customers, please find our latest FAQs which are constantly being updated as the situation evolves.

Our BDMs are still available as a friendly voice at the end of the phone to discuss any concerns or enquiries you may have. Find your local BDM here.

25 March 2020

Do you have any FAQ’s?

Kent Reliance for Intermediaries have answered some of your questions and are there to support you and your clients.

Find out more… they may have already answered your questions.

19 March 2020

With the current situation in mind, they want to highlight that they are committed to helping their brokers and make it as easy as possible to maintain a business-as-usual approach.

Simple guidelines to support your customers

They have put together some simple guidelines to help you support your customers and to enable you to continue to place cases during this period.

  1. Their calculators can provide a quick idea of how much your client could borrow

For Kent Reliance for Intermediaries: Buy to let  | Income-backed | Residential

For InterBay Commercial: Term loan | Bridging loan

 

  1. If you’re a new customer or are unsure of how to use their Broker Portal, their handy guides can help.

For Kent Reliance for Intermediaries: Illustration, AIP and applications | Registration, access and maintenance

For InterBay Commercial: Broker Portal guide

 

  1. Our application checklists outline the documents you need to submit when placing a case.

For Kent Reliance for Intermediaries: Application checklist  

For InterBay Commercial: Application checklist

 

  1. And finally, if you have a portfolio landlord client, our portfolio submission guides give an overview of how to place cases for them.

For Kent Reliance for Intermediaries: Portfolio submission guide  

For InterBay Commercial: Portfolio submission guide

 

What they have done so far

They are undertaking all the recommended steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 in our offices as recommended by the Government, and to ensure continuity of service for our brokers and borrowers:

  • We’re implementing split site and split shift working in all of our central function locations (Wolverhampton, Kent and India). If there’s an outbreak in one of our offices, we can continue to process business as usual from alternative locations
  • Staff have the ability to work from home securely should the need arise
  • While our underwriting and sales teams aren’t making office visits, they have the capability to work remotely with the option of meetings taking place virtually via video or teleconferencing
  • Our BDMs are always available to support you via phone or email
  • We’re in regular contact with our valuer and conveyancing partners and continue to work with them to ensure they can maintain an acceptable level of service

As the situation evolves, we’ll be updating the FAQ pages of our websites, so please visit the following for more information:

If you have any questions, concerns or require any further information our BDMs are always available to help you. Their contact details can be found here for Kent Reliance for Intermediaries or here for InterBay Commercial.

You can also call our broker liaison team on 01634 888260 for Kent Reliance for Intermediaries or 01634 835006 for InterBay Commercial. 19 March 2020

Landbay understand that recent developments around Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be concerning. They want to reassure your that they are fully operational with the whole team now working remotely. Their priority is to look after their colleagues, intermediaries and customers, and they have put in place measures to support brokers and customers during these challenging times.

If you are a Landlord and think you’ll struggle to make your monthly mortgage payments specifically because of Coronavirus, they can help you by offering a 3-month payment holiday.

What is a payment holiday?
A payment holiday allows a borrower to defer mortgage payments for an agreed period. It is important to remember that you still owe that money and the interest on your mortgage still accrues during a payment holiday. At the end of the payment holiday Landbay will contact you to assess your circumstances and agree a repayment plan for the arrears accrued.

Eligibility:
A payment holiday will be available to customers who are up to date on their mortgage payments, and who have lost income because of the impact of Covid-19.

How do I apply:
If you are concerned about making your mortgage payments during this time you should contact us as soon as possible. You will not need to complete an application; you will just need to self-certify that your income has been either directly or indirectly impacted by Covid-19.

Self-Certification:
You will need to self-certify that your tenant’s income has been impacted by Covid-19. Landlords are expected to pass on this relief to their tenants to ensure that they are supported during the Coronavirus crisis.

When will the payment holiday take effect:
The commencement date for the deferred period will be agreed on a case by case basis.

During the payment holiday period:
You will not have to make any monthly mortgage payments for a set amount of time, in this case up to three months. Arrears fees will be waived during the payment holiday period.

After the payment holiday ends:
At the end of the payment holiday a member of the Landbay Customer Service team will contact you to assess your circumstances. Repayment of the arrears will be agreed on a case by case basis.

Landbay are committed to supporting landlords experiencing payment difficulties on a case by case basis.

If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to make your regular mortgage payment, due to the COVID-19 crisis or any other reason, contact Landbay to discuss the various ways they can help you.

Call here for more details. +44 (0)330 053 6825

23 March 2020

We are committed to supporting the Government’s guidance and putting the health & safety of our members and colleagues first.  As a result, we have decided to temporarily suspend our physical property valuations on all new mortgage applications. 

We have instead introduced a desktop valuation approach for Residential mortgages up to a Loan to Value of 80% or below and for Buy to Let mortgages a maximum Loan to Value of 65% or below.

We are monitoring Government guidance continuously and unfortunately at this time we will not accept any new applications above the stated loan levels until further notice.  

If you would like to speak to our Business Development Managers, please call us on: 0808 281 9309.

26 March 2020

 As a business, our purpose has always been to offer services and products that support our customers when they need it most. This, together with the safety of our staff, remains our primary focus during this difficult time. We are committed to supporting you so that your business is impacted as little as possible when dealing with us. As a number of our colleagues are away from work unwell, or self-isolating, we would appreciate your help in only contacting us by phone if you cannot find the answer on Agent Hub in OLPC  Please note we are reducing our opening hours from 21/03/2020 to the following:

Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturdays will be closed. 

Please continue to send applications through as our Underwriting team are still able to process them as normal.

We will endeavour to keep as many agents on the phone as possible during this period. Don’t forget you can find answers to many questions about your pipeline applications in Agent Hub in OLPC, you can speak to us virtually using our web chat tool or you can speak to your usual BDM.

We have lots of information & tools, including short videos, about the case tracking functions in Agent Hub. Click here to find out more about what you can do to self-service:

26 March 2020

Due to the current economic outlook in the UK following the outbreak of Coronavirus, we’ve reviewed our approach to sales of Lifestyle Cover, our Accident, Sickness and Unemployment product.

With immediate effect, unfortunately, we’ll be temporarily pausing new sales of Unemployment Cover (both standalone and alongside Accident and Sickness Cover) owing to the risk of an economic downturn resulting from COVID-19.

  • We’ll continue to offer Unemployment Cover to existing customers at renewal subject to usual
    policy terms and conditions. Mid-term adjustments may be subject to certain restrictions.
  • Any existing quotes which included Unemployment cover and are within the quote validity
    period will not be impacted. However, the usual policy terms and conditions apply which
    includes:

We will not cover unemployment which they have been notified about, either verbally
or in writing, or a re-organisation, restructure or programme of redundancy, affecting
their role, which is formally announced by their employer within the 60 day qualifying
period unless we have agreed to match unemployment benefits from another policy.

Please note for full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions, please refer to our Lifestyle Cover Policy Booklet

  • If you make any amendments to an existing quote for Unemployment Cover, this may result in
    the quote no longer being valid.
  • There are currently no changes to Accident and Sickness Cover and you can continue to offer
    this to your customers.

Our sales systems, GIology and GI Connect will be updated to reflect these changes shortly, but we’d
kindly ask for your support and understanding and ask you to refrain from selling Unemployment
Cover at this time.
If you have any queries, please get in touch with your Legal & General Account Manager. You can
find their details on our Adviser Centre
Thanks for your continued support.

19 March 2020

Following the update from the UK Government on Monday, we wanted to let you know that our panel valuers have had to suspend internal property inspections until further notice.

As this situation, we believe, is temporary, we will continue to accept and process all signed applications and where able, we will issue a mortgage offer with a condition that a full valuation must be conducted prior to completion. Packaging your cases remains the same and we have an online guide for the documentation requirements.

Once the valuation fee is paid, here’s what to expect:

1. An automated valuation will be run on the security and your case will be passed to an underwriter
2. Our underwriter will assess all the information to ascertain whether they can make a conditional offer
3. If the underwriter is comfortable, an offer will be issued with a specific condition that a physical valuation is instructed and received prior to completion
4. If your client would like to proceed, they will continue with the legal process at their own risk, accepting that this could result in costs being incurred, that won’t be recoverable
5. In the case our underwriter is uncertain of the valuation, they can hold the case, until such time a physical valuation can be instructed and they can review again once the report is received.

For those of you who have a valuation instructed but it has not taken place, we will be in touch to ask if you wish to proceed with the new process.

To help you going forward, whatever stages of the pipeline you’re managing, we’ve published a list of BTL FAQs dedicated to the COVID-19 situation. This is to keep you updated on all of our new processes and covers subjects from remote identity checks to wet-ink signatures.

26 March 2020

Equity Release Update

We wanted to let you know that after careful consideration and following on from the latest Government announcement to implement strict movement restrictions, we’re now unable to complete physical property valuation surveys to support new business or additional borrowing applications. We’re working hard behind the scenes to find an alternative solution.

We are still accepting new business applications for our Lifetime Mortgage Lump Sum+ and Flexible Lifetime Mortgage, but due to the constantly changing landscape, we are unable to commit to completion timescales. Please make your clients aware of the possible delays and the overall impact on their applications.

For any pre-application query, please direct these to: EquityRelease.Sales@LV.com where we will aim to respond within 48hrs.

We fully understand that this is a very challenging time for your clients and our main priority is to continue to support you as best we can.

If you have recently submitted an application:

  • Where a survey has already been completed, we will continue to progress the application
  • Where a survey has not been completed, we will hold the case ‘in pending’ and these customers will get priority for survey completion once we’re able to resume property valuations.

Meeting with solicitors

We are currently working with the Equity Release Council to establish a process which aligns to the Government guidance whilst ensuring we safeguard our customers.

Please check our dedicated page on our LV= Adviser Centre which outlines our current position on the coronavirus situation. We will regularly update this page as new information becomes available.

26 March 2020

The rapidly developing news of the spread of Coronavirus and how this may impact their family, friends, colleagues and partners is a huge concern for everyone. With that in mind the Equity Release Sales Desk is being adjusted accordingly to be a remote operation, their telephone line will not be in operation from today 24th March until further notice.

They ask that all Equity Release pre-application queries are directed to the sales mailbox EquityRelease.Sales@LV.com where they will aim to answer queries within 48hrs.

LV= also have a dedicated page on their  LV= Adviser Centre which outlines their current position on the coronavirus situation. They will regularly update this page as new information becomes available.

24 March 2020

As a business, our purpose has always been to offer services and products that support our customers when they need it most.

This remains our primary focus and we wanted to share some details around our approach to claims at this time.

Our claims philosophy has not changed in light of Coronavirus. We will always pay all valid claims. We have not made any changes to the application questions and have no immediate plans to do so. We have no plans to apply an exclusion or to change our current underwriting approach.  As with any disclosed condition where a recent diagnosis has been made and the outcome and severity is unknown, if a customer tells us they have been diagnosed with the virus or that they are being tested for it, we will have to postpone their application until they have fully recovered or they know their test result and are confirmed symptom free. We will continue to monitor the situation as it develops and ensure our customers and partners are updated.

People may be off work due to self-isolation without necessarily experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus. Our product terms state that a person would need to have a medical condition to qualify under the income protection (IP) Terms and Conditions (T&Cs). We would like to confirm that we will consider the medically advised period of self-isolation as counting towards any work absence, even if the Coronavirus (Covid-19) has not yet been diagnosed. The Government has announced a temporary alternative to the fit note which can be used for the duration of the Covid-19 outbreak. This will be a notification via NHS 111 which can be used as evidence for absence from work. We will, of course, accept this alternative in support of a claim.

Critical illnesses are identified under a specific set of criteria and Coronavirus is not a specified critical illness under the terms of our policy. In the unfortunate event that a customer were to develop a critical illness we cover as a result of Coronavirus, then we would approach this claim in the same way as we would usually.

We will continue to monitor the developments of Coronavirus and the advice and updates from Government and health organisations. We think it is important that we are transparent in our approach and clearly communicate with our partners and customers. We will ensure that we update you as the situation evolves. While we aim for this communication to be as full and open as possible, if you have further questions then please contact us.

In uncertain times, we would like to offer two certainties: our claims approach will always be fair and thorough, paying all valid claims and our purpose of supporting our customers in some of the most difficult times in their lives will never change.

23 March 2020

Coronavirus: Mortgage payment concession

Among the many pressures caused by the recent outbreak of coronavirus (covid-19), we fully understand that our members may be feeling financial pressures.

What can The Marsden do to help?

We are committed to supporting our members through this difficult time so if you think you’ll have difficulties making your monthly mortgage payments because of the impacts of coronavirus, we can help by offering a concession on your monthly payments based on your circumstances.

What is a concession?

A concession is a short-term reduction in your monthly payments, sometimes referred to as a payment holiday. We are able to offer a concession of up to three months depending on your circumstances.

Can I apply for a concession?

You can apply for a concession if:

  • Your household finances have been affected by measures put in place due to coronavirus, for example a reduction in working hours, temporary closure of firms, self-isolation due to having symptoms of the virus or caring for someone with symptoms
  • You are up to date with your mortgage payments
  • You have consent from everyone named on the mortgage

Is a concession the best option for me?

 It is important to note that a concession is a temporary reduction in your normal monthly payments, and the amount owed will still need to be repaid and attract interest until it is repaid.

This means that unless you come to an arrangement to repay the concession, your mortgage payments will be recalculated when your concessions ends, meaning your monthly payments may increase. In this case, the total amount of interest you pay over your mortgage term will increase.

How can I apply for a concession?

 Please contact us on 01282 440500 and we will discuss your individual needs and see what we can do to help

26 March 2020

Melton Update

Due to exceptional circumstances meaning valuers are currently unable to perform their duties, we have been required to reduce our maximum loan to value for standard residential mortgages to 60% until further notice.

We will not be accepting Self Build, Buy to Let, Help to Buy, Shared Ownership or any other new build applications during this time.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and hope to be reinstating these services as soon as possible.
For any enquiries, please contact our Broker Support team on 01664 414144.

25 March 2020

MBS Lending Update

Due to exceptional circumstances meaning valuers are currently unable to perform their duties, we will not be accepting any new applications at MBS Lending during this time.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and hope to be reinstating our services as soon as possible.
For any enquiries, please contact our Broker Support team on 01664 414144.

25 March 2020

To ensure that brokers are aware, their Intermediary website has been updated today.

An exception will be made for brokers who are not registered, but are dealing with a porting application or product switch on behalf of an existing customer.

They all remain committed to supporting your business, however this short term measure will ensure that we can provide help to those customers that need it most during these challenging times. Metro Bank would encourage any customer that may be impacted by the coronavirus to contact our Mortgage Servicing Team as soon as possible on 0345 319 1200 to discuss their options.

23 March 2020

In line with the announcement from UK Finance, customers with a Metro Bank mortgage will be able to request a three month repayment holiday where they are experiencing issues with their finances as a result of coronavirus. We’d encourage any customer that may be impacted to contact our Mortgage Servicing Team as soon as possible on 0345 319 1200.

FAQs

Where should we direct customers to? 

Mortgage customers need to contact the mortgage servicing team on 0345 319 1200, who will be able to discuss how we can support them.

What proof will customers need to provide to us? Are all customers eligible?

Under usual circumstances we would assess the customer’s financial situation and ask them to provide information so that we can consider what forbearance options may be the most suitable.  We recognise that these are exceptional circumstances and we want to support our customers, so we are not asking them to provide proof in order for us to consider a repayment holiday. We only ask that they call us so that we can discuss their situation.

This measure covers retail mortgages (buy-to-let and residential).

Customer who are already in arrears may not be eligible for a payment holiday, but there are other ways that we can support them so we encourage them to get in contact.

What is a payment holiday? What if I need a longer holiday after 3 months?

A payment holiday is when we agree you can take a break from paying your monthly mortgage payment. The missed payments do need to be repaid at a later date, how we agree the missed payments are repaid will depend on your individual situation.

We will review your financial situation with you at the end of the 3 month period, if you need more help we will look at the best way we can support you.

How will this impact my credit score?

Where we’ve agreed a payment holiday with you in advance, this won’t lead to any arrears being reported to the credit reference agencies so this shouldn’t impact your credit score. However, if you haven’t come to an agreement with us and you miss a payment, this would be reported to the credit reference agencies in line with our normal process.

Kind regards,

Metro Bank

19 March 2020

Payment Holidays

We have previously confirmed that where NatWest has agreed a payment holiday with a customer linked to Covid-19 this will not affect their credit status.

  • We can also confirm that any agreed payment holiday linked to Covid-19 will not impact the customer’s ability to complete a product transfer online, either directly or through a broker.
  • Where you are completing a product transfer for your customer we will not carry out  new credit or affordability checks if you keep the same mortgage amount and repayment type.
  • In addition, we can confirm that we can now review payment holiday requests for landlords with a Buy-to-Let mortgages and also customers with a Consent to Let mortgage that are linked to Covid-19.  The process for this is the same as a residential request communicated last week using the links below.

Existing Natwest Customers

Existing Ulsterbank Customers

Existing RBS Customers

Due to this current unprecedented situation we are regularly receiving questions regarding certain scenarios.  We ask for your patience whilst we are working to provide clarity. And will update you accordingly. Please look out for our latest update emails and we will also be providing further developments and updates via our website.

25 March 2020

At NatWest Intermediary Solutions we are actively managing the evolving impact of the coronavirus outbreak, with the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and communities being our main priority.

With the news from the Government on the 17th March regarding their help and support to those who are most vulnerable, we have received an increase in enquiries from customers who are seeking mortgage payment holidays. To help you and your customers, here are some of the key facts regarding our payment holiday process:

  • Customers can get information or webchat with us via com, ulsterbank.co.uk or rbs.co.uk, depending on the brand their mortgage is with.  They can also get the right contact details if they wish to discuss their circumstances.
  • Our Specialist team will assess the customer’s circumstances and if they can’t pay their mortgage due to the impacts of coronavirus, they will be eligible for a mortgage holiday. Those assessments will take place when the customer contacts us.
  • Customers will not be considered to be in arrears during the period of an agreed mortgage payment holiday if they were up to date when the repayment holiday was entered into, and there will be no impact on their credit file.
  • However customers credit score may be negatively affected if they miss a payment and haven’t already applied for a mortgage holiday.
  • Where a customer is already in arrears when they approach us for additional help, we will look at what further assistance we can offer.
  • The payment holiday period can last for up to 3 months and no further evidence will be requested following the discussion with our dedicated team.
  • Payments to both capital and interest are suspended during the agreed period and interest will continue to accrue during the holiday period. Payments are recalculated at the end of the holiday period to repay the new balance over the remaining term.
  • There is currently no facility for an Interest Only Switch process for customers on Capital and Interest mortgage contracts

Following the Government announcement on the 18th March regarding landlord payment holidays we are currently reviewing our processes and will update you further once these details have been finalised.

They are regularly receiving questions relating to Coronavirus and the impact this is having to new and existing customers, processes and policy. We are committed to respond to these questions in due course and will endeavour to provide you all with regular updates.

Clearly these are unprecedented times but we are committed to continue to provide the service you expect from us.

Please note, all current and future updates will be provided on our website.

23 March 2020

Is a mortgage payment holiday the right option?

It’s Important to remember that a mortgage holiday is a temporary break form their mortgage payments, to help them through these uncertain times.

There are a few things to consider before applying for a mortgage payment holiday, to make sure it’s right for their situation.

Read more here.

19 March 2020

Service update, including payment holidays

The Mortgage Works have launched a dedicated webpage that they’ll regularly update to keep you informed of any changes to their services, including payment holidays for our customers who have been affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19).

They are working to ensure that they continue to provide you with the best possible service during the Coronavirus outbreak whilst safeguarding the wellbeing of our teams.

Click here to find out how to get the information you need.

19 March 2020

With immediate effect, Newcastle Intermediaries have taken the decision to remove the requirement for brokers to clarify that they have had sight of original documents during this current period.

The broker declaration, as part of Newcastle’s Document Upload Facility has been changed to reflect the fact they do not need brokers to confirm sight of the originals.

This is the only change in place and all procedures and requirements remain the same.

26 March 2020

We understand that coronavirus is causing concern to a lot of people during this uncertain period and we want to reassure you that we are open for business and are here to support you.

Following the Government’s latest announcement, we are moving more of our employees to work from home and are developing a solution to enable our customer servicing team to continue taking your calls from home.

Please remember that you can still contact us by emailing btlenquiries@paragonbank.co.uk or alternatively, you can get in touch with your Regional Manager directly, whose contact details can be found here.

We appreciate your support and patience during this challenging period.

25 March 2020

Overview

Following the Government’s recent announcement regarding Covid-19 and the requirement to stay at home.  Pepper Money’s valuation partner has cancelled a number of physical valuations that were scheduled for this week and the following weeks. We do not currently accept Automated Valuations, Desk top or Drive by valuations. We are investigating viable alternatives, but in the meantime, we will be unable to instruct new valuations until further notice.

In common with many other lenders, physical valuations will now not take place in the next 3 weeks, the initial review period announced by the Government.  As a result, there will be a number of customers who will have received a call cancelling their valuation appointment and who will be keen to understand what will happen next.

Our approach:

We are keen to support our customers through this uncertain time and propose to communicate with all brokers who have affected cases.

Customers will have the choice of either receiving a refund of their fees if they no longer wish to proceed with their application, or instructing Pepper Money to continue with the application, accepting that the physical valuation will not be carried out for at least the next three weeks at which point we propose to review and contact the customer again.

Speak to Pepper Money Broker Support team

The Broker Support team have access to customer applications and can therefore record the customers preference. Broker Support Telephone number: 0333 370 1101

Postal services update

In order to protect our people and in line with government advice, we will not be collecting any post from our offices for the foreseeable future please email to lendingenquiries@pepper.money or upload through the broker portal.

View our Intermediary FAQ’s here

25 March 2020

Thave been receiving a number of questions around how we plan to support our Customers around payment holidays during COVID-19.

To support you all, information is now available on our website which will hopefully answer all the queries you may have.

Please note –

Pepper Money will be able to consider a payment holiday of up to 3 months subject to the customers individual circumstances.

These are unprecedented times and at Pepper Money we will want to understand the real cause of the actual or anticipated financial difficulty and then discuss potential options with the customer.

Intermediary FAQ’s – https://www.pepper.money/intermediary/resources/knowledge-centre/covid-19-update

We recommend existing customers contact us directly for us to understand their individual circumstances so we can establish the right course of action for them.

In the first instance, please view our designated FAQ page  below. However, if there are further questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact us using the following email address: customerservice@pepper.money

View Customer FAQ’s – https://www.pepper.money/personal/faqs/covid-19-guidance

24 March 2020

Following the latest Government advice around social distancing, our valuation partners are unable to inspect properties at this time.

As some of our products require a valuation to progress, we are making temporary changes to our product range.

From 5pm Friday 27th March, we will update our Mainstream, Help to Buy and Buy to Let mortgage ranges for New Business to only offer mortgages that do not require a physical valuation. This is to ensure customers are only able to make applications for mortgages that can be completed during this time.

New Business

Mainstream
• LTV options greater than 80% will be temporarily withdrawn;
• *PLEASE NOTE: House purchase applications should only be submitted up to 75% LTV
• *PLEASE NOTE: New Build applications should not be submitted at any LTV

• All tracker products will be temporarily withdrawn.

Buy to Let
• All product options temporarily withdrawn

Help to Buy
• All product options temporarily withdrawn

Product Switch
Mainstream
• No change

Buy to Let
• No change

Pipeline deadline

Clickdecision and KFIs: Products will be temporarily withdrawn from our website and all sourcing systems at 5pm on Friday 27 March 2020.

Applications must be received at Platform by 5pm on 27 March.

27 March 2020

Whilst our support teams are still here to help you, as you can imagine they are currently answering a higher than usual volume of enquiries by phone, so your brokers may find it easier and quicker to access the information available on our website, or for ongoing applications by using the ‘Tell us’ section within Click, where you can log queries.

You can also find information around payment holidays by clicking here which will be useful for customers contacting you with financial concerns. We would like to encourage your brokers to share this information with their customers.

We know that this is a time of uncertainty, but we are going to continue to do the best that we can for our customers. Please visit our website for any updates, and we will contact you if we have any important information to share.

26 March 2020

Due to the current situation with COVID-19, Precise are receiving a large number of telephone enquiries.

Their teams are dealing with calls as quickly as they can. Please bear with them, as they continue working hard to support you and your customers.

Please encourage your customers to click here for advice and other essential updates. This include important information about mortgage holiday entitlement and the process that needs to be followed, and how your customer should get get in contact. This page will be updated as they receive new information.

As a intermediary you can also stay updated here on their Intermediary COVID-19 page.

They thank you for your patience at this difficult time, and Precise appreciate your support.

24 March 2020

Working from home? Precise are here to help

Precise are open for business at Precise Mortgages. So whether you’re at home or in the office, they have got some useful links to help you fact find, place a case, or get in touch. Click here to find out more or alternatively, visit to book a virtual appointment with a member of our Sales Team.

23 March 2020

Precise Mortgages have pulled a list together of the Frequently Asked Questions relating to Covid-19.

Click here to find out more.

18 March 2020

Our mortgage support team are experiencing a significant increase in call volumes at the moment and we would like to advise you on who to contact for your enquiries.

Please note that for the time being, our telephone number 0330 333 4029 has been temporarily suspended and we therefore advise that you contact us in the following ways:
• For case updates – please contact your Business Development Manager or log in to Brokerpoint
• We can also be contacted via intermediary@principality.co.uk
• For coronavirus queries, please visit www.principality.co.uk/coronavirus

Payment holiday requests
If your Principality mortgage customer requires assistance with their mortgage, they can request a payment holiday through our mortgage payment holiday request form, please advise them to visit www.principality.co.uk/coronavirus/mortgage-payment-relief.

We’re here to help…
Rest assured we’re doing all we can to support you and our Members and we’ll continue to closely monitor the situation and keep you updated of any changes on our website, and if we can, by email or via your BDM.

25 March 2020

UK Finance has been seeking urgent clarification from the government about whether home purchases should continue at the current time, particularly as physical property valuations are no longer possible. The government has now stated that:

  • Home buyers and renters should, as far as possible, delay moving to a new house while emergency measures are in place to fight coronavirus.
  • If moving is unavoidable for contractual reasons and the parties are unable to reach an agreement to delay, people must follow advice on social distancing to minimise the spread of the virus.
  • Anyone with symptoms, self-isolating or shielding from the virus, should follow medical advice and not move house for the time being.
  • Further detailed guidance is anticipated shortly and UK Finance are seeking urgent clarification from the FCA that they see no barrier if the customer wants to go ahead.

In light of the current situation, we’re reviewing our product range so please contact me to discuss any new cases before you submit them.

26 March 2020

Following the latest Government advice, our valuation partners are no longer able to inspect properties at this time. They’re currently contacting agents and property owners to make them aware. We plan to send MATS message updates to you where your clients’ cases are impacted by this. It’s important to note that our valuation partners are not cancelling instructions, but simply placing valuations on hold until further notice.

Please note where we can validate the property value without needing to enter the property, this will continue as normal.

25 March 2020

Click here to read more.

19 March 2020

Temporary changes to our service

At Skipton Intermediaries, we pride ourselves on being a responsible lender, which includes putting the health and safety of our colleagues, customers and you first. It’s for this reason that we’ll be making some temporary changes to our service in response to the latest government guidelines around the coronavirus outbreak.

Following the market suspension of face to face property valuations, we’re making the following changes, which will come in effect from 5pm today:• The suspension of new purchase Residential and Buy to Let mortgage lending.
• All Buy to Let and Residential remortgages will be limited to a maximum of 75% LTV.
• However, products will continue to be available for existing customers who are looking to switch their mortgage deal.

Unfortunately due to exceptional circumstances, we’ll also be unable to honour any outstanding Decision in Principles on withdrawn products, not submitted as a full mortgage application by 5pm today.

These decisions have been very difficult to make, but we feel they’re necessary to protect the safety of the people we work with.

We’re constantly reviewing our position and will continue to respond to adapt in line with the government advice, and hope to return to helping people buy homes as soon as we can.

In the meantime, if you have an urgent query we’re recommending that brokers use web chat or email us at bdmsupport@skipton.co.uk

26 March 2020

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) dominating the headlines, Skipton wanted to provide some reassurance of the steps they have taken at Skipton so they’re still able to help you.

Read the full article here

23 March 2020

Due to the exceptional circumstances we find ourselves in with the Covid-19 pandemic, our insures have taken the difficult decision to suspend all Lifestyle new business with immediate effect.

Unfortunately, this will include all saved quotes.

We thank you for your understanding and we will update you with any further developments.

19 March 2020

Click here to read

24 March 2020

All of us are aware of the unprecedented times that we are facing together. At TFC we want to ensure that it is still “Business as Usual” for you and your clients!

TFC Homeloans have made the following decision and would ask you to work with us and our lenders to minimise any disruption COVID – 19 brings, lets win through!

For the health, well-being & protection of their employees, partners & clients – we have made the decision for all TFC staff to work remotely.

Our offices have been paperless for some time & all cases are managed by their 1APP Portal via your log-in – It is business as usual

During this difficult time they would ask you to adopt the following processes so that they can ensure they maintain high levels of service to you and your clients.

  1. Existing Cases: please use the 1APP Portal to communicate via the case owner button on your case tracker page – the process of your cases will continue in the normal way
  2. New DIPs can also be submitted via 1APP and your case will be processed in the usual way.
  3. For any other enquiries or help: please email info@tfchomeloans.com This will be directed the correct person who will deal with your needs and come back to you
  4. For new registrations for 1APP: please go to tfchomeloans.com/register1

They will keep you updated on any changes to this, lender products and news in general.

On behalf of them all at TFC, thank you for your help & support during these unique times!

19 March 2020

It’s BAU albeit at home!

We’re here to help you maintain revenue in these unprecedented and challenging times. Our expert advisors are working remotely from home and can arrange bridging, commercial, second charge and specialist first charge mortgages over the phone, without any face to face meetings or visits. Therefore, it’s business as usual at The Loans Engine!

At TLE we’ve invested heavily in a robust IT Infrastructure solution to ensure that in challenging periods such as this, we’re geared up to remain a highly effective and critical service provider to Mortgage Brokers.

We’ve made arrangements to protect our staff, but continue an uninterrupted service.

That means you can get Clients quick, easy access to a wide range of lenders for Second Charge Mortgages, Bridging Finance, Commercial Mortgage & Niche First Charge Mortgages.

Whether it’s the Client’s Home, a BTL or HMO property, an Un-Inhabitable or Heavy Refurbishment Project, or a Commercial premises – we’ve got all of our lender panel active and ready to source today!

26 March 2020

New purchase deals available
We’ve been reviewing our portfolio to minimise the impact on our customers, as our operational capacity could be put under pressure due to the Coronavirus outbreak and more colleagues are at home or working from home. We temporarily withdrew our products to consolidate internally, following which, we’re launching a range of purchase deals, effective from Friday 27 March 2020.

This way we can continue to service our broker partners for new and existing pipeline business both pre and post offer, as well as prioritise our customers that are experiencing financial difficulty.

We believe that this is a responsible approach and we’re committed to continuing to service our broker partners and customers. We will keep reviewing our position and keep you updated on a regular basis.

26 March 2020

Coronavirus – The West Brom are here to give you the help and support you might need

  • Financial difficulty
  • Access to services
  • Scam calls, texts and emails

Find out how these things can mean you are more vulnerable.

19 March 2020

Important Together Business Update

In these unprecedented times Together’s priority must be to look after and protect their colleagues, as well as support customers and business partners. They have taken the steps necessary to relocate their colleagues and they are now operational from multiple sites, including the majority of staff now working from home, such that they can continue to provide high levels of service to support their customers and partners during this difficult time.

They are experiencing a higher level of contact from their existing customers as their individual circumstances change, and from business partners processing existing loan applications. They have successfully responded to this by redeploying colleagues as appropriate between business functions.

In light of the above, the evolving situation across the country in respect to COVID-19, the Government’s and/or regulator’s current or future responses to tackling the situation, and to provide clear, effective direction to business partners, they have made the following decisions:

  1. For a temporary period, effective immediately, will not accept any new applications across their product range.
  2. They are prioritising those applications already in the pipeline that are for purchases and specifically on those where the borrower has already exchanged contracts.
  3. Their pre-offer pipeline is currently being reviewed whilst we assess the market environment and our lending criteria.

Together as a lender has been supporting customers for over 45 years, through many challenging environments, and will continue to do so. Today we feel that supporting our existing customers through these difficult times is the prudent and sensible thing to do and has to be our priority.

The situation will remain under constant review and our teams will remain in close contact to ensure that you are kept as up to date as possible during this period.

Please support us in these uncertain times so that we can continue to support you and your clients.

24 March 2020

The situation around COVID-19 is continually evolving and moving at pace and it is therefore with regret that I need to inform you that the underwriter of our Landlords Legal Expenses product, Arc Legal, have instructed that New Business will no longer be accepted from today Tuesday 24th March. We have received no notice of this decision and are letting you know as soon as we have been able to.

The main reason for this is the new Government legislation to ban evictions for 3 months, which leaves the insurer without the ability to evict a tenant on behalf of the landlord and would also increase the exposure to the insurer in relation to any rental arrears. Other insurers have also withdrawn products.

As our Landlords Legal Expenses product has Rent Guarantee included as standard, we are currently working with Arc Legal on a solution to offer a Landlords Legal Expenses product without Rent Guarantee included. We will communicate what this looks like as soon as we are able. In the meantime we are temporarily suspending the ability to add Landlords Legal Expenses to a Landlords Insurance quote.

24 March 2020

Important information – changes to mortgage applications

Following the updated Government guidance to “stay at home” earlier this week, we have seen valuation panel managers across the industry stop all physical valuations. While Virgin Money continues to use AVMs and desktops wherever possible for remortgage business, we have had to take a difficult decision and temporarily suspend new purchase applications.

This is a decision that we have made reluctantly, but feel that it is sensible in light of the restrictions the industry faces, and allows us to continue to help those existing customers who are in need of immediate support at this time.

What does this mean for your clients?

We appreciate that this will be a stressful time for many of your clients in the process of buying or selling a property. Where we can, we will use automated or desktop valuations for remortgage cases.

Criteria

Residential

  • Remortgage only
  • LTV up to 60%
  • Loan size up to £300,000
  • Min property value £80k
  • Max property value £500k

BTL 

  • Remortgage only
  • LTV up to 55%
  • Loan size up to £275k
  • Min property value £80k
  • Max property value £500k
  • Unable to accept personal income cases

Exisiting applications

You may have existing applications with us that are now unable to progress while physical valuations are on hold. Your BDM will be in touch with you on a case by case basis to discuss your clients’ situation. If your client decides they want to continue with the application, we’ll keep the case in our pipeline. Alternatively, your clients can cancel and any valuation or product fees already paid will be refunded.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and we hope to be back in the purchase market at the earliest opportunity. Supporting the housing market is in our DNA and we hope to be able to help more of your clients again soon.

27 March 2020

Good afternoon

We hope all is well with you and your families in these troubling times!

Virgin Money just wanted to drop you a quick line to provide some reassurance to you that they are working on a communication to send over in the next 24 hours that will help bring some clarity to you, your intermediaries and their clients from Virgin Money and Clydesdale perspective and they are creating a FAQ document for the intermediary website that they will continually update as and when things change.

Supporting partners, customers and colleagues is their top priority and Virgin Money and their NAM team and the BDM’s continue to be available for you and your clients over the phone and online. Their processing teams and phone lines remain open, and as they have flexibility working, it’s business as usual for now. However, they are monitoring the situation closely and will be in touch of there are any changes.

They will be back shortly with more detailed information on the likes of Payment holidays shortly.

19 March 2020