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Covid-19

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Mortgage criteria support

The TMA Broker Support Team are currently operating a fully functional call-back service for criteria support. They have been updating their criteria grids in real-time following any lender updates, and can give you the latest information regarding valuations, LTV limits etc.

Click here to request a call-back from a member of the team.

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.

Equity Release statement to members on our covid-19 response

Statement from Equity Release Council Chairman David Burrowes following our recent covid-19 response consultation: 

The Council has agreed, following engagement and consultation across the industry, to enable remote provision of legal advice for equity release customers at this unprecedented time. The decision comes as a result of direct responses and collaboration from across the sector, representing all parts of the equity release customer journey. We have been particularly guided by advice from our solicitor members to ensure the protection of consumers is paramount.

Read more here.

We’ve made the decision to temporarily change some of our residential criteria. These changes mean we can keep lending responsibly and give the best level of support and to our borrowers during these uncertain times.

Missed payments on Secured and Unsecured & Mortgages

  • For secured loans, we’ll no longer accept missed payments on a single account within the last 24 months.
  • For unsecured credit, we’ll no longer accept consecutive missed payments within the last 24 months – including mobile phone, utility, fixed term or mail order payments.

Defaults

  • No new defaults registered within the last 6 years.

CCJ

  • All CCJs must be satisfied.
  • No new CCJ’s in the last 6 years.

Our Underwriters will still be taking ownership of each case submitted to us and retain their discretion to make common sense decisions, but applicants who have a history of adverse credit may have their case referred.

2 April 2020

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

We understand this is a really unsettling time for everyone and want to let you know that we’re here for you. We’d like to keep you up to date on what we’re doing to support you and your mortgage clients during this challenging time.

We’ve set up a dedicated webpage so you can find all the latest information for your clients. We’ve also developed some broker Q&As which we’ll continue to update in response to the COVID-19 government measures and any changes we need to make to the way we work with you.

Here’s a summary of what we think is most important for you to know right now:

Product and criteria changes

The Bank of England made two base rate decreases this month:
• 11 March – decreased from 0.75% to 0.25%
• 19 March – further decreased from 0.25% to 0.10%.

In response to these changes, we’re decreasing the Aldermore Managed Rate (AMR) by 0.65% from 5.23% to 4.58% from 01 May. We’ll be writing to impacted customers by mid-April to let them know how it reduces their monthly mortgage payments.

We’ll continue to update you on any product or criteria changes in the usual way, as well as updating our lending criteria and mortgage guides on the intermediaries website.

Here’s a reminder of the way that we do business with you, as well as a few changes that we’ve made:

DIPs
• We’re doing our best to keep within our 24 hour DIP SLA but please bear with us over the next few weeks
• You’ll need to submit a full application within 30 days of a DIP ‘accept’, as it will expire after 30 days
• If you need to re-submit a DIP, you’ll need to select from the product rates and range that’s available at the time of submission

Underwriting a new application

Our human approach to lending considers each case on an individual basis and this hasn’t changed. We’re here to support you and help you find the right mortgage for your clients but we’ll need to:
• Understand the impact of COVID-19 on the borrower and their ability to service the mortgage, both now and in the future
• Look at the applicant’s current situation in more detail, particularly for the self-employed and employees in high risk sectors
• Establish if there have been any material changes to income or employment since DIP submission
• Continue to review our approach to income assessment and our treatment of contract workers and probationary periods

Mortgage valuations

To continue to support our customers, we’re replacing physical valuations with remote valuations.
Remote valuations will be requested on applications that meet the following criteria:

Application type

  • Owner occupied properties
  • BTL Single Units

Max Value

  • Inside M23 £1M
  • Outside M25 £750K

Max LTV

  • 85% Owner occupied
  • 75% BTL

Please note that any application that doesn’t meet the above criteria will be placed on hold including:
• Properties adjacent to commercial premises
• Properties in poor/derelict condition
• New Build properties
• HMO/MUF properties
• Properties with more than 2.5 acres
• Leasehold properties with less than 100 years remaining
• Portfolio applications with more than 5 properties in the same block or postcode area

Customers should follow the Government’s guidance on buying and selling homes during the Coronavirus stay at home period.

Pipeline applications pre-offer
• Our applications continue to remain valid for 50 days, allowing you sufficient time to obtain the necessary supporting documents to secure an offer for your client*
• We’ll continue to update you on the progress of applications, acknowledge new document uploads or contact you if any requirements have been outstanding for a while

*If we’re unable to undertake a valuation and the case reaches 50 days then we will need to review the application again based on your client’s individual circumstances and the product rates and range available at the time

Mortgage offers and completions

UK Finance recently announced lenders would provide a 3 month extension to any borrowers who have exchanged contracts but are having to delay moving home due to government advice. We’re supportive of this position and are working to accommodate this for applicants. If your client’s individual circumstances change during this time, we’ll work with you and your client to agree a sensible outcome.

We are continuing to process re-mortgage completions but would ask that sufficient notice is given to release funds in line with guidance issued to solicitors.

Product Switch

We’re continuing to offer product switch mortgages to your existing customers. Email our product switch team on product.switch@aldermore.co.uk to get started.

How to get in touch

We’ve set up some new email addresses as our telephone lines are exceptionally busy at the moment. We’re also keeping our website updated with our current SLAs so you know how quickly we’re dealing with your requests.

• New business enquiries mortgage.sales@aldermore.co.uk

• Product switch product.switch@aldermore.co.uk

• Existing business submitted through our residential portal mortgage.newbusiness@aldermore.co.uk

• Existing buy to let business submitted through our commercial portal buytolet@aldermore.co.uk

30 March 2020

We have had a further update regarding completions in Scotland:

We can complete on

  • Residential purchases; and re-mortgages
  • BTL individual re-mortgages

There are restrictions that the solicitors will be adhering to so should we get COTs in on the above we can proceed as normal. 

Please Note – We cannot complete on any Scottish BTL Limited company transactions.

30 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

Aviva Underwriting Centre

Introducing a one-stop-shop

Our Adviser Underwriting Centre has been designed to make the underwriting process quicker and easier for you when writing new business.

With useful information, tips and resources, we have developed this page with you in mind. This means that instead of having to call us, you can get all of the information you need at the click of a button.
http://www.aviva-for-advisers.co.uk/adviser/site/public/products/protection/adviser-underwriting-centre 

Aviva Business Accelerator

Whether you want to use our guided lesson plans or learn at your own pace, we offer tips, tools and advice to help you attract and retain clients, and maximise your business’s potential through differing business models.

https://adviserbusinessaccelerator.aviva.com/

Aviva CPD Webinars

A range of pre recorded webinars from ideas on how to introduce Income protection to your customers to buying your home and keeping it the webinars can be watched in your own time and leisure

https://adviserbusinessaccelerator.aviva.com/webinars

Self-Serve on Alps

The below are links to documents that will help you gain the majority of information you need to self serve through our ALPS system

Push Notifications

A guide on how to set up push notifications for our ALPS system

https://www.aviva.co.uk/documents/view/al97107c.pdf

Alps In focus guide

A high level guide that shows the self serve capability available through our ALPS system

https://www.aviva.co.uk/documents/view/al98070c.pdf

1 April 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

Please see below for the very latest information for submitting and managing applications with Barclays.

We love a quick chat

At this time our telephony support colleagues are busy answering customer enquiries in addition to those from intermediaries, such as yourself. So to help you get the answers you need even quicker, we’ve boosted the number of skilled staff available to support you through our online LiveChat service which is available within the Barclays Intermediary HUB.

The LiveChat team can assist with any new application queries so they can provide you with exactly the same information as our telephony team. If you need to contact us, why not log in for quick chat.

Mortgage Payment holidays – Residential and Buy to Let

Last week we introduced the option for up to a three-month mortgage payment holiday for customers who are struggling to make their payments because of the impact of the COVID-19.

We subsequently launched an online form for Residential mortgages and can now confirm this is also available for our Buy to Let customers too. This online form is now live for our BTL customers.

As a recap if your client needs to request a payment holiday, please ask them to:

Visit barclays.co.uk/coronavirus/mortgages and read the FAQs
Complete the online form as it’s the quickest and easiest way to apply and also allows our telephony colleagues to prioritise the support of our most vulnerable customers.

Important information: Customers will receive a text message within five working days of their online request confirming if their payment holiday has been accepted.

We can also confirm that your clients (Residential and Buy to Let) can rate switch whilst on a mortgage payment holiday. Any standard ERC’s and Fees associated with the product transfer will be applicable.

Temporary closure of Land Registry Offices in Scotland and Northern Ireland
On Monday, we confirmed we are working closely with UK Finance following the temporary closure of both the Registers of Scotland (RoS) and Northern Ireland’s Land and Property Services Offices.

We can confirm we can continue to release funds for completions in Scotland (where an Advance Notice has been filed) however, at this stage, we are still unable to proceed with completions in Northern Ireland whilst the Land Registry is closed.

As a reminder, new applications for Scotland and Northern Ireland should not be submitted, however, further advance applications and rate switches can continue to be processed as usual. We will keep you updated as the situation develops.

Offer extensions for qualifying purchases
We’re currently finalising arrangements for applicants to request a three month mortgage offer extension due to COVID-19 disruption.To manage your client enquiries, it’s important to note that this will only apply to purchase cases which legally exchanged prior to Wednesday 1st April. For remortgages, our offers are only valid until the date confirmed within the offer letter and will not be able to be extended beyond this.

We’ll be able to share more information with you very soon

Thanks for your ongoing support

3 April 2020

We are committed to keeping you up-to-speed with all key changes as they occur. We fully appreciate changes are coming thick and fast and so in the interests of not overloading you with emails, where possible, we will consolidate key messages.

With this mind, please see below for a combination of new updates plus a re-cap over some of the key changes from the last two weeks.

On a personal note, I would like to thank you for all your ongoing support and patience through what is a really challenging period for all of us. Our commitment to you is unwavering and please rest assured that we are making decisions and taking actions with a view of what is best for you, your clients and the market overall.

Important new updates

Extending mortgage offers
Government and mortgage lenders have agreed that your clients who’ve exchanged contracts already will be able to extend their mortgage offer by up to three months. This is to enable them to move at a later date as the COVID-19 situation has disrupted many house moves. We’re currently working to deliver a solution to extend mortgage offers for affected customers, and will communicate further details to you in due course.

What happens if your client has a change in circumstance?
For pre-offer applications:
• Your client is contractually required to notify us of any changes in their circumstances
• If there are any changes pre-offer the application will need to be re-assessed, and as result the application may not progress

Post-offer applications:
• Your client is contractually required to notify us of any changes in their circumstances
• As this is post-offer, they’ll need to notify us so we can pause their application
• If your clients’ situation returns to what was submitted in the application, we can continue progressing the application
• Your client should negotiate their completion date with the vendor so they don’t incur any penalty from the vendor.

Temporary closure of Land Registry Offices in Scotland and Northern Ireland
Due to the COVID-19 situation, both the Registers of Scotland (RoS) and Northern Ireland’s Land and Property Services Office have temporarily closed their offices. This means that deeds of title, including our charge documents, cannot be registered following completion for properties in Scotland or Northern Ireland.

This poses a risk to lenders as solicitors are unable to register our charge over the property. As a result we have been working closely with UK Finance and legal counsel to understand potential alternatives.

• For completions in Scotland: a solution has been agreed between the Registers of Scotland and the Law Society, and we’re continuing with completions (solicitors should have registered an Advance Notice for the completion to go ahead).
• For completions in Northern Ireland: no solution has been found yet, and we regret that we cannot proceed with completions until the situation is resolved.
New mortgage applications in Scotland and Northern Ireland:
• Applications for Scotland and Northern Ireland should not be submitted, due to the challenges with completions outlined above.
• We will continue to work with UK Finance and external counsel and to request updates on the office closures.
• Further Advance applications and rate switches can continue to be processed as usual.

Recent Updates
An update on valuations
• Our updated Intermediary and Reward range rate sheets
An underwriting update
An update from our Intermediary Partnership Team

31 March 2020

Remote valuations to help support our customers and valuers

Following the current government restrictions on social distancing, we’ve agreed with our valuation partners to temporarily suspend all valuation activity that involves a physical inspection of property. This is a responsible step to protect the health of our customers and the valuers.

With this in mind, we’ve been working hard with our partners to make sure that we can support as many customers as we can through their mortgage application process. So with immediate effect they will now perform a remote valuation for many of our cases.

If the application falls outside our remote valuation criteria, we will need to put the case on hold until a physical valuation can be completed. We will, however, commit to arranging a physical valuation at the earliest opportunity, as soon as the social distancing restrictions are lifted.

Please click here to read our customer FAQ’s
Thank you for your ongoing support

30 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 announce changes to mortgage products

Bank of Ireland UK is committed to supporting customers through the COVID-19 pandemic and has a range of supports in place including mortgage payment breaks of up to 3 months.
The Bank continues to lend up to a maximum of 85% loan-to-value (LTV) across all new mortgages (residential and Buy to Let) and further advances.

However, the Bank is temporarily withdrawing all new business mortgage and further advance products above 85% LTV (with effect from 5pm 31 March 2020) due to the inability to instruct physical valuations. This will also affect mortgages provided by Bank of Ireland UK through its partnership with the Post Office. Pipeline cases and product transfers are unaffected by this change, and will continue to be processed as normal.

Ian McLaughlin, CEO, Bank of Ireland UK: “In light of current restrictions across the wider housing market, we cannot fulfil our existing policy to carry out valuation visits on applications for mortgages and further advances above 85% LTV. These temporary changes will continue to be reviewed in line with government advice.

“Bank of Ireland is committed to supporting customers through the COVID-19 pandemic. We have a range of supports in place including mortgage payment breaks of up to three months across residential and Buy to Let mortgages.

“The safety and welfare of our colleagues and customers and the continuity of our services remains our priority. Our team will be contacting intermediaries to explain the current situation and to understand they can support their customers.”

2 April 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

There can be no doubt that the market environment remains disrupted and continues to change by the day.

Over the last few weeks, we have focused on ensuring our existing borrowers have the support they need during this challenging time, whilst also striving to ensure our products continue to provide solutions for your customers.

The market has continued to become more restrictive, with most purchase transactions being delayed and physical property valuations becoming impossible due to COVID-19. As a consequence, we have taken the decision to withdraw our products and suspend all new mortgage applications as part of a temporary pause in origination activities.

We will continue to process applications that have already been submitted to us, prioritising those applications where the valuation has already been completed. All other applications will be processed and underwritten as normal, pending the availability of an acceptable valuation. We are working on desktop and AVM alternatives to physical valuations and will let you know if we are able to deliver this solution. All offered loans will continue to completion as normal.

Access to Bluelink will close at 5pm this evening for new business and then continue for all pipeline applications.

Our decision to temporarily suspend new applications will allow us to reallocate some colleagues to customer support functions, ensuring we can help existing borrowers as the situation progresses. We are also furloughing a number of colleagues under the government’s COVID-19 Job Retention Programme.

This means that your normal Bluestone contact may not be available. However, we will still be available to provide support with existing applications. Please call us on 0800 368 1833 for assistance.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your support and patience during this period and we look forward to working with you when the disruption caused by COVID-19 starts to abate!

3 April 2020

Bluestone Mortgages have created a document which summarises their updates.

View it here.

31 March 2020

I just wanted to update you on a decision that’s been made regarding new agencies. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we have taken the decision that all agencies, irrespective of their structure (DA/AR), will only be offered non-indemnity commission terms once their due diligence has been completed.

This stance has been taken to protect the society from the financial risk of commission clawback not being able to be recovered following the financial damage caused by the COVID situation, and the reputational and operational risk of processing short term business where the customer need may be unclear.

27 March 2020

We are pleased to announce, that after working closely with our Scottish solicitors at Wilson McKendrick, we are now able to complete and pay-out on mortgages in Scotland.

All that is required to do so is an additional signed declaration from the applicant, which we will issue at Binding Offer, allowing Wilson McKendrick to act on their behalf to ensure our security on an applicant’s property is prioritised and registered safely when the Register of Scotland fully reopens for registering charges.

We hope this news give you comfort in placing deals with us to allow safe passage for your 1st and 2nd Charge mortgage applications.

3 April 2020

During these exceptional times we have tried to maintain business as usual, however, the situation is changing daily and we are mindful of how the economic landscape may be affecting some people’s income.

As a Lender we must take into consideration all information relating to the customer’s financial circumstances to ensure the customer is able to meet their repayments for the duration of the mortgage. As a result we have decided to implement some temporary criteria changes.

The following changes will come into affect for any cases loaded onto the portal from 1st April 2020:

1) Applicants identified on the Key Worker List below (Appendix 1) will be assessed as they would normally providing we are in receipt of all the necessary up to date proofs. Where there is a question with regards to sustainability of any part of the income, further information may be required.
2) We will not be able to use income if an applicant is currently furloughed.
3) We will not accept applications from customers who have applied or intend to apply for a payment holiday from their First Charge Lender.
4) Applicants who are employed or self employed in the sectors adversely affected by the current pandemic are no longer acceptable. E.g. Travel, Retail, Hairdressers, Entertainment/Leisure, Hospitality and construction – this list is not exhaustive.

What will we do with the pipeline?
What is pipeline? Any cases loaded on to the portal up to and including 31st March 2020.
We will be looking at each application on a case by case basis to see if we can find a way to proceed. The underwriting team or your BDM will be in contact shortly to discuss your cases.
But please note that we will not be able to use income if an applicant is currently furloughed.

Referrals

We are happy to review an application that isn’t on the key worker list if evidence can be provided that proves the income is ongoing and sustainable. These cases need to be referred by emailing intermediaryteam@centraltrust.co.uk.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact your BDM or the in-house support team on 01923 280599.

1 April 2020

Scottish & NI Cases

As you may be aware, both the N.I Land Registry and Registers of Scotland are closed. This means that we are unable to fund any Scottish or Irish cases until further notice.

The timescale for closure is unknown so we will not be moving cases to the security call stage at this time as multiple items may expire, (e.g. proof of income, credit searches etc.) which could change the dynamics of the case.

We are working closely with our specialist legal partners to try and find a solution.
We hope you understand our position and appreciate your patience at this time.

31 March 2020

Whilst we have seen rapid product withdrawals, changes in criteria and LTV reductions we are also seeing opportunities and loans being approved. Here’s a very quick summary of what’s currently available:

Residential (Specialist)

• 3 Lenders offering desktop/AVM’s up to 75% LTV
• 2 Lenders will lend up to 95% LTV, but remaining 9 lenders at 75% LTV
• Greater care on overtime & industry restrictions
• Adverse criteria tightened up but still available

Buy to Let

• 4 Lenders offering desktop/AVM’s up to 70%
• 1 Lender will lend up to 80% LTV, but 10 others are 60-75% LTV
• Lenders are unlikely to lend currently if client has requested a payment holiday on other loans

Secured Loans

• 5 Lenders offering desktop/AVM’s up to 80% LTV
• 1 Lender will lend to 80% LTV
• Max loan size reduced, but still up to £300,000
• Greater care on overtime & industry restrictions
• Zero hours considered if a Key Worker
• Adverse criteria tightened up but still available

Bridging

• Still very active with most of our lenders available
• Valuations are still being undertaken, 2 will look at AVM’s
• Most lenders will lend 50-65% LTV
• 2nd charge available to 65% LTV
• Credit Facility Product available to 70% LTV up to 3 years

Commercial

• Still very active with most lenders
• Up to 75% will be considered
• A valuation will be required, so need to review

3 April 2020

Temporary changes to our lending policy – effective from 8pm Thursday 9 April 2020

Some of your clients may be facing changes to their income because of the ongoing Coronavirus situation. We’ve made some changes to our lending policy and the way we assess affordability to ensure that any potential mortgage application is affordable.

New applications

Please ask your applicant(s) if their income is impacted by the COVID19 pandemic and based on the customer’s response, process the application in line with our updated assessing income policy.

These changes will take effect at 8pm on 9 April 2020. Any applications you submit before then should be full mortgage applications. AIPs will be treated under the new assessment policy.

Pipeline applications (applications received prior to 10/04/2020 but have not yet reached offer stage)

We will proceed as stated unless you inform us of a change to their financial situation in which case the new application guidance will apply.

Post offer applications

We will proceed as stated unless you inform us of a change to their financial situation in which case the new application guidance will apply.

If a client is employed and furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

We’re accepting furloughed income for applications up to a maximum of 65% LTV for owner-occupied mortgages.

We’ll assess affordability using:

  •  Their furloughed income (80% of their salary up to £2,500 per month gross)
  • Any additional employer top-up, if relevant.

Completing the application

Calculate their basic salary – this is the annual equivalent of the amount your client will receive through being furloughed. Then in the ‘Future changes to income’ box, tell us whether your client has been furloughed and how the income is made up – for example, ‘furloughed at 80% of salary plus employer contribution’, or just ‘furloughed at 80%’.

We’ll need a letter from their employer confirming that they are being furloughed and what the make-up of the payment will be, along with any other usual income verification documents.

Bonus payments, overtime, shift allowances and commission

These will no longer be accepted as income sources for affordability purposes.

We’ll now only accept applications on zero hours contracts from the following key workers:

  • NHS bank nurses and locums
  • Non-NHS bank nurses
  • Care home workers
  • Supermarket workers, including delivery drivers
  • Retained/on-call firefighters and Armed Forces Reservists using zero hours income criteria.

Changes to capital-raising remortgages

  • For owner-occupied remortgage applications and for existing customers who want to raise capital from their property, we’ll apply a maximum LTV of 65%
  • For Buy to let remortgages, we’ll only accept pound for pound applications. We’ll consider further advances on BTL properties but only for essential repairs to the mortgaged property.

If your client is taking a mortgage payment holiday with another lender because of Coronavirus and wants to take a new mortgage with us

We’ll only consider a new mortgage when the holiday period has ended, their payments have started again and they’ve made a minimum of three monthly mortgage payments.

There’s detailed information about the changes we’ve made, and the support we’ve put in place for your clients on our Coronvirus support page.

9 April 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

The Coronavirus outbreak is having a fundamental impact on all aspects of UK life, including the housing market. Amongst many decisions Coventry for intermediaries have had to take over the three weeks they have now decided to withdraw all new mortgage products across their residential, BTL & further advance ranges with a loan to value of over 65%. This will happen with immediate effect.

This change does not apply for product transfers where the full product range remains available.

It is only a temporary withdrawal, but it will give them a breathing space to action the many requests Coventry for intermediaries are receiving from customers for payment holidays and to process mortgage offer extensions for those who need them. At this point in time, these people are our priority. It also means our Intermediary support teams will be able to give you the support you need.

Coventry for intermediaries will keep you updated and we intend to launch a new, broader range of products shortly.

30 March 2020

Working together to support you an those who need us most

View Crystal Specialist Finance’s COVID-19 update here.

30 March 2020

In light of the ongoing situation relating to COVID-19, e.surv 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

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

Products
Due to not being able to carry out physical valuations (see below), we are unfortunately, with immediate effect, withdrawing our existing product range.

However, we are pleased to confirm our revised product range of Buy-to-Let and Home Purchase Plan products, up to a maximum of 65% finance to value, can be found here. Our revised product range also includes some changes to our minimum property values and maximum finance amounts.

For cases where a DIP has already been obtained for financing above 65% FTV, we will accept these as applications but they must be submitted by close of business today (1st April).

Existing applications already in the pipeline prior to this date will also continue to be processed under existing criteria.

In both the above scenarios, those cases that are over 65% FTV will unfortunately be paused once they have been underwritten until we are able to obtain a physical valuation.

Valuations
In common with other lenders we have been advised by our Valuation Panel that following the Government’s recent advice regarding Covid-19, they will not be carrying out any new physical valuations and all booked appointments will be put on hold. However, in order to continue to provide our service for landlords and homebuyers, we are able to offer desktop valuations for finance of up to 65% finance to value, subject to certain property exclusions which are summarised here. These should be read in conjunction with the Home Finance Property Types – Guidance Notes for intermediaries. Please note, we will not be providing a copy of desktop valuations to brokers or customers, as these will be for the Bank’s use only.

Those valuations that have already been carried out will be reported back in the usual way.

SVR
Following recent reductions by the Bank of England to the base rate, with immediate effect we have today reduced our Standard Variable Rate (SVR) to 3.85%, down from 4.50% previously.

Customer Support
To help our customers we have also introduced a Payment Holiday Request Form and a homebuyer and landlord Q&A.

Our Service to You
Thank you for your continued support and patience during these testing conditions. Our teams remain available to deal with your queries via phone and email during these exceptional times, details of which can be found here.

Our products remain available to UK residents, UK Expats and International residents looking to purchase or refinance property in England or Wales.

1 April 2020

Following our regular updates we’ve received a lot of additional questions over this period.

So we’ve put together a Q&A and published this on our adviser site. See below for the link which will always have the most up to date responses.

https://content.guardian1821.co.uk/literature/COVID-19-FAQs.pdf

Additionally, we’ve now updated our non-medical limits to reflect the changes made earlier this week. See below for the links to these:

Life Protection: https://adviser.guardian1821.co.uk/products/life-protection/underwriting-limits/

Critical Illness Protection: https://adviser.guardian1821.co.uk/products/critical-illness-protection/underwriting-limits/

Combined Life and CI: https://adviser.guardian1821.co.uk/products/combined-life-and-critical-illness-protection/underwriting-limits/

Hopefully this is useful for you.

3 April 2020

FROM TODAY – ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS ON OUR APPLICATION FORM AND INCREASED LIFE PROTECTION NON-MEDICAL LIMITS

COVID-19 APPLICATION QUESTIONS
For all new applications submitted we’ll now ask 4 new COVID-19 questions as part of the application.
The questions are:

In the last month have you:
• Tested positive for Coronavirus illness (Covid-19)?
• Been personally advised to self-isolate by a medical professional or the NHS 111 but have not been diagnosed with Coronavirus illness (Covid-19)?
• Had, or do you currently have a new, continuous cough and/or high temperature?
• Had direct contact with someone who’s been confirmed or suspected to have Coronavirus illness (Covid-19)?

For clients that answer yes to any of these questions, their application will be postponed for 3 months. Clients can reapply when they can answer no to all the Covid-19 questions. Applications in the pipeline will also be asked to complete our Covid-19 questions. Once the application is submitted, unless we ask further questions, you don’t need to tell us if your clients health changes.

WE’VE INCREASED OUR LIFE PROTECTION NON-MEDICAL LIMITS BY 10%
All applications for cover above our non-medical limits will be restricted to the maximum cover available, based on the applicants age. The good news is we’ve increased all our Life Protection non-medical limits by 10% for clients aged 60 and under, for all new and pipeline applications.If an application is above our current non-medical limits, the application will be referred to underwriting to deal with this manually. So, for example, for a client up to age 40 applying for life cover of £900k, instead of restricting the amount of cover to £700,000 (our current non-medical limit), we’ll restrict the cover to £770,000. You’ll find all our non-medical limits on our website: adviser.guardian1821.co.uk. Please note these don’t reflect the 10% increase, but we’ll make that change as soon as we can.

For applications that require a medical screening due to a disclosure, we’ll firstly look for an alternative form of evidence. If that’s not suitable, the application will be postponed.

UNDERWRITING AND SERVICING UPDATE
As I’m sure you can understand, for applications that don’t receive an immediate decision, underwriting may take a little longer than you’re used to while we adapt to the changing environment, but rest assured we’re doing everything we can to get your clients protected as quickly as we can.

1 April 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

Halifax Mortgage Offers

All mortgage offers will automatically be extended by 3 months where required, NO action is required, we would therefore be very grateful if you could avoid contacting your Halifax BDM/TBDM or our Head Office on this matter. Thanks for your support.

2 April 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

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 you will be aware, we had hoped to continue processing applications to 95% LTV, and to underwrite these to the point where only a valuation was outstanding. Regrettably, the recent actions of many other lenders in withdrawing their higher LTV ranges has prompted a significant increase in enquiries, which could lead to unmanageable volumes of applications.

We have therefore taken the decision to withdraw all products over 80% LTV with immediate effect. We are sadly unable to process any applications not already received where the LTV exceeds 80%. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience caused by this necessary decision.

By way of a reminder, we are offering desk top valuations for most BTL and residential remortgage cases to 60% LTV. Notable exceptions to this are for flats over 6 storeys high and properties with no online visibility. Please note that we will need to reassess affordability at valuation stage if a significant period of time has elapsed since the application was received, and we may request additional documentation or updated information.

We have been asked to communicate our lending policy on furloughed employees and other applicants whose income has been affected by the COVID-19 situation. I can confirm that as a manual lender, we have the necessary infrastructure in place to be able to consider each case individually on its own merits. We will be applying this judgment to pipeline applications and new business enquiries.
Thank you for continuing to support Hinckley & Rugby for Intermediaries. Our sales and processing staff are all successfully working remotely and are able to speak to you about applications in hand or new enquiries.

3 April 2020

We are all affected by COVID-19, either personally or professionally. I hope that you and yours are healthy and safe.

Hinckley & Rugby for Intermediaries’ primary focus is to support you and your clients through this difficult time. Therefore, I want to reassure you that although our sales and processing teams are working from home, we are ready and waiting to speak to you about any applications in hand or potential new applications. Please use the contact us link here for all enquiries relating to applications already received, and here for new business enquiries.

To keep you updated I am able to inform you that:

• Our Mortgage Referrals Committee of senior decision makers continues to meet daily to discuss complex cases. We can consider the circumstances of applicants who are affected by the pandemic, so please do continue to bear us in mind for such cases.

• We are open for business and have taken the decision not to withdraw any product ranges imminently. The only temporary change to our criteria is the increase of our minimum loan requirement, from £75,000 to £100,000.

• We are offering desk top valuations for most BTL and residential remortgage cases to 60% LTV. Notable exceptions to this are for flats over 6 storeys high, high value properties and properties with no online visibility. For all other cases where a physical valuation is required, we will continue to process and underwrite applications so that the offer can be quickly issued when normal service from valuers is resumed. Our Business Development team are contacting intermediaries who have already submitted applications to us which are affected by this.

• We are dealing with your clients’ requests for COVID-19 related payment breaks and these payment breaks will not affect your clients’ ability to execute a product transfer. Borrowers can request the payment break online here.

• There will be no change to the levels of service you receive in relation to the payment of your procuration fees and we continue to release payments in the same way we have done for many years.

• We are working closely with your club or network to ensure they are kept up to date with all developments.

• Any offers where exchange has taken place will automatically be offered a 3-month extension. Other offer extension requirements will be considered individually.

Thank you for continuing to support Hinckley & Rugby for Intermediaries. Please do feel free to contact us as outlined above if you require any assistance at all. On average, we are responding to callback requests within 15 minutes.

1 April 2020

Important changes to our business

In light of the unprecedented challenges brought about by Covid-19 and the Government’s recent announcement about house purchases, we’ve taken the difficult decision to implement the following interim changes.

As of 5pm today, we will be:
• no longer accepting purchase applications
• restricting re-mortgages to like for like transactions only
• temporarily withdrawing our Portfolio Buy-to-Let mortgage
• reducing the maximum LTV to 60% across all products

Any cases that you’ve already submitted to us will not be affected by these changes, subject to us being able to carry out a valuation. If we’re unable to instruct a valuation, we’ll put your case on hold while we work out the best way forward with you.

Throughout this challenging time, we remain committed to:

• Extending mortgage offers for up to 3 months (if contracts have been exchanged) to enable borrowers to delay their move
• Offering a 3-month payment holiday to those affected by Covid-19

We will also be extending remote valuations up to 60% LTV across all products, with a maximum valuation of £1m in London and the M25, and £750k elsewhere, to complement our current position.

We understand you might have questions regarding these changes, and encourage you to get in touch with your local BDM or contact us using the information below.

We thank you for your patience and hope to work with you soon.

30 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

Ipswich Building Society have collated all of the FAQs they have received in relation to COVID-19 into a spreadsheet.

Download the FAQs here.

31 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

We understand that the spread of coronavirus will be causing many of you and your clients anxiety. To keep up to date with how we’re dealing with this fast moving situation, and to find answers to frequently asked questions, please visit our justadviser.com coronavirus update area.

30 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

As you know, surveyors are unable to offer internal valuations at this time. We are exploring an alternative valuation solution but this will not be suitable for our full product range. As a result, and to be fair to you and your customers, we are withdrawing, with immediate effect, a number of products that we know will not be covered by this solution and that we are therefore unable to make offers on today. We hope to reinstate these products once physical valuations can restart.

  • We have reduced our maximum LTV on all products (both residential and BTL) to 70%.  Whilst sourcing systems may still indicate we are open to applications at 75% LTV we will only consider loans at 70% LTV or below
  • We have reduced the maximum property value to £1m, across both Residential and Buy to Let
  • Withdrawal of all New Build products including Help to Buy
  • Withdrawal of Later Life
  • Withdrawal of HMO/MUB
  • We have extended our property exclusions. Please check our Lending Criteria online for the full list
  • All pipeline cases ALREADY in receipt of a valuation will continue as usual
  • Pipeline cases below 70% LTV without a valuation will proceed as and when we have an alternative valuation solution
  • Pipeline cases above 70% LTV without a valuation will regrettably be cancelled as we will have no valuation solution until internal valuations resume

Please refer to Sourcing Systems or log in to our broker portal for all rates available.

We understand that this is an unprecedented time for everyone – customers, lenders and the industry. If you have any questions at all, please contact your local Business Development Manager, your Key Account Manager, or our Business Development Unit on 0800 111 020.

30 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

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 have made some recent changes to our lending proposition and I wanted to give you the key messages.  The full details are included in the attached PDF’s.

 

  • A number of products for BTL and Residential have been withdrawn as of Friday 27th
  • We’re pleased to confirm we are extending mortgage offers for an additional three months, to nine months, where the applicant has exchanged contracts, to support customers who are expected to move home in the near future.
  • We have taken the decision to no longer accept any variable income for PAYE customers, for example overtime, bonus or shift allowance, whether guaranteed or regular.  This is as of Friday 27th of March.

LBS Offers extensions PDF

Rates and criteria changes PDF

30 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

Home Finance

Legal and General Home Finance have created a new guide to desktop valuations to help you understand their new process and policies.

Download it here.

7 April 2020

We have been working as quickly as we can to implement an alternative way of valuing without a home visit.

We’re pleased to announce that as of Monday April 6 we will be moving to desktop valuations for all of our lifetime mortgage products.

Key things you need to know:

  • A desktop valuation will be completed by an independent valuer using publicly available information to assess the value of a client’s home.
  • Because a desktop valuation is less accurate than a valuer visiting a property, we will use 95% of the desktop valuation when we calculate the amount we can lend to your client.
  • To support this, we need you to temporarily change the way you estimate your client’s property value. Please reduce your estimate by 5% when you submit an application to us.
  • Please be aware not all properties are suitable for a desktop valuation. We’ll let you know if your client’s property is unsuitable.
  • After the current social distancing restrictions have been lifted we’ll arrange for a physical valuation to be undertaken. This is for our information only and will not change the amount that your client has borrowed from us.

How does this impact pipeline cases?

From Monday, we’ll be working through all existing applications where a property valuation has not yet happened. Please bear with us as we work as quickly as we can to do this. We will be in touch with an update on specific cases as soon as we can.

Where can I find out more information?

On Monday, we’ll send you additional information that explains the desktop valuation process in greater detail.

6 April 2020

PROTECTION

L&G Protection have created a new document outlining the new questions they are adding into their customer application journey from tomorrow, 2nd April.

1 April 2020

Income Protection Benefit (IPB)

People may be off work due to self-isolation without necessarily experiencing symptoms. Our product terms state that individuals would need to have a medical condition to qualify under the income protection (IP) Terms and Conditions (T&C’s). However, we will consider the medically advised 2 week period of self-isolation as counting towards any work absence, should a diagnosis of COVID-19 be subsequently confirmed.

Please note, this only relates to medically advised self-isolation. A customer who is absent from work as a result of being unable to work from home or due to their place of work being closed or service suspended but who has not been medically advised to self-isolate, by 111, a GP or PHE, would not be considered to meet the definition of “self-isolation”. Similarly, if a customer is following UK Government guidance as part of the lockdown protocols but has not been medically advised to self-isolate, including those people identified as “at risk” and are requested by the Government to stay at home for 12 weeks, this absence would not be considered as part of any deferment period. (Formal cascade document attached).

Immediate Cover for Intermediaries – click here for PDF

In light of the potential issues that Coronavirus (COVID-19) could present, Legal & General has temporarily removed Immediate Cover on our life cover products including Critical Illness Cover with effect from Friday 20th March 2020 until further notice.

Immediate Cover has been available to all agents of all sales channels whereby we assume the risk for a customer before they have been fully underwritten, whilst the necessary evidence is being obtained. Our Immediate Cover supports defined exceptional personal circumstances. A very small number of customers request this on an annual basis.

We fully appreciate that Immediate Cover is used for customers who require protection urgently and meet the criteria. In cases where we have formally confirmed agreement for immediate cover then we will honour that decision.

Future Applicants

After careful assessment of the current pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to temporarily remove our Immediate Cover for all applications made from Friday 20th March onwards. (Formal cascade document attached).

See full update pdf here.

30 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

Mansfield Building Society tightens criteria in response to COVID-19

Along with a number of other lenders, Mansfield Building Society has taken steps to tighten its criteria as the impact of Government restrictions necessary to tackle the Coronavirus (COVID-19) start to affect individuals and businesses across the UK.

With immediate effect, the Society has limited lending to 80% loan-to-value (LTV) across its range of residential mortgage products and imposed restrictions on all new Buy to Let (BTL) business, including the temporary suspension of lending on holiday lets and reducing the maximum LTV on BTLs to 65%.
The lender is keen to remind brokers that lending to 80% LTV is still subject to valuation which continues to be hampered by the strict rules imposed by the Government this week.

In light of these restrictions, the Society has been quick to respond to the rapidly changing environment by allowing the use of AVMs (Automated Valuation Models).  The use of AVMs has been adopted by the Society to help provide a limited but sustainable service until the wide range of Government initiatives kicks-in, and the full impact of COVID-19 is known.

Although the use of AVMs is limited to residential remortgages to 65% LTV, the lender is keen to support brokers and their clients until valuers are once again allowed back out on the road to undertake physical inspections in due course.

Paul Lewis, National Development Manager at The Mansfield, said:
“We’ve developed some terrific broker relationships that we’re keen to continue to support throughout the ongoing crisis but as you’d expect, we’ve had to temper our product range accordingly. We hope that the Government’s strict measures introduced this week start to make a real impact on the Coronavirus pandemic, and that the product and criteria changes imposed will soon be relaxed. In the meantime, I would encourage brokers with new business enquiries or general concerns to contact either myself or the Intermediary Support team – we’re here to help wherever we can”.

 30 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

Following our email last week, the temporary changes to our product range and criteria have now been reflected in our broker portal.

Here’s our updated product guide which includes full details of the changes. Our temporary valuation options guide will also help you understand the options we’ll consider when a full valuation is not available.

We know that there is a lot of disruption across the market, but we’re sure you appreciate that making these changes enable us to continue to support you and your customers during this unprecedented time.

Get in touch with your Account Manager if you’ve any questions.

6 April 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

IMPORTANT UPDATES FROM METRO BANK
We have been working hard to put in place solutions to the ongoing impacts of the coronavirus. These include the following:

Valuations
We are currently operating a process of AVMs and Digital valuations (dependant on LTV), the cost for a Digital Valuation is up to £145. Customers will still need to pay the valuation fee as stated in the product guides which are available on our website, however the differential will be refunded back to the customer.

Criteria changes
We have also made changes to our underwriting requirements in several areas:

Self‑employed – there will be a requirement to demonstrate the sustainability and profit of the business

Bonus/Commission/Overtime – 50% of cash bonus/commission/overtime averaged over the last 2 years will now be used in the affordability assessment. As evidence, we will require the last 2 years P60’s.

Investment income – accepted where the portfolio is valued at a minimum of £1m.

7 April 2020

CHANGES TO OUR PRODUCT RANGE

In light of the recent developments around Coronavirus and governmental guidance, we have made some changes to our Core Residential Product Range. With immediate effect, the maximum LTV will be reduced to 80% for all residential mortgages.

 

Offer extension

In line with the wider industry, Metro Bank will extend all house purchase mortgage offers for residential and buy-to-let customers for up to three months, enabling customers to move at a later date. If your customer requires an offer extension, please contact us in the normal way.

 

Valuations

We have worked closely with our panel manager, Legal & General Surveying Services, to put in place a process to support valuations via a digital solution as an interim measure for LTVs up to 80% (LTVs are restricted by loan size, please refer to our Lending criteria guide for full details).

27 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

MORE GREAT NEWS. Following our announcement on the 2nd April that Maximum Choice applications can now proceed with semi-automated valuations (SAVs), we have now managed to secure agreement with more of our funding partners to adopt the same approach to valuations.

Plans proceeding with SAVs

Maximum Choice (all options)  – subject to 10% retention on max LTV

Tailored Plus/Tailored Lite – subject to 10% retention on Plus & Tailored Lite4 and Lite5. No retention planned currently for Lite3

Capital Choice (all options) – retentions expected on Capital Choice and Capital Choice Plus only but to be confirmed and subject to change

Prime Choice (all options) – no retention restrictions expected but to be confirmed and subject to change
There are some plans that we are still negotiating (flexi choice).  Read on for full information. 

6 April 2020

GREAT NEWS. After an intense period of negotiation with all of our funding partners, we are now in a position to start undertaking semi-automated (desktop) valuations on some of our products with immediate effect.

Find More2Life’s full update here.

2 April 2020

As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve rapidly, we wanted to bring you up to date with where we are across various fronts – namely plans and valuations:

Plans
more2life offers a wide range of plans underpinned by five supportive funding partners, and we continue to have very detailed and positive conversations with them regarding how we deal with pipeline cases, as well as new business.

All of our plans are open to applications for the time-being. However, please be aware that price rises and LTV restrictions are incoming to the market, and these will include our own plans. We will keep you posted on these as soon as we are aware of them.

A Flexi Choice price rise comes into effect tonight at midnight. Applications on the current rate must be received by midnight this Friday 3rd April. Our ability to proceed with those applications hinges on ongoing negotiations we are having regarding remote valuations.

Valuations
We are optimistic about the ability to offer desktop valuations across our plans in the very near future. That may or may not include ALL of our plans, but we are working hard with all of our funding partners to agree a way forward, and no doors have yet been shut to us at the time of writing, but this is a tricky issue that the whole industry is grappling with right now.

In terms of our own funding lines, if one particular funder is unable to accept desktop valuations, it will be possible to move the application across to a funder that does.

fastpath service promise
Our latest service level stats are detailed below, and we continue to process post-offer cases as normal, as well as pre-offer up to the valuation stage. However, in view of the current difficulties in obtaining valuations, we are temporarily suspending our fastpath 14 day service promise until further notice.

We hope to reintroduce this as soon as we have a desktop alternative in place, but in the meantime we are sure you can appreciate the need for us to suspend this promise.

30 March 2020

We’re actively managing the evolving impact of the coronavirus outbreak, with the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues, customers and communities being our main priority.

At this time, our primary purpose remains to ensure that any mortgage we provide to our customers is affordable and appropriate for their needs as well supporting brokers to deliver a better everyday service.

The updates in this communication cover the following areas:

• Offer extensions
• Valuations
• Completions: Registering Our Legal Charge
• Payment Holidays

Due to this current unprecedented situation we are regularly receiving questions regarding certain scenarios. We ask for your continued 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 Coronavirus Hub.

3 April 2020

What’s Happening

Individuals across the UK are being impacted by COVID-19 and this has had knock-on impacts across many industries. Many customers could face an impact on their employed income on either a permanent or temporary basis.

At this time, our primary purpose remains to ensure that any mortgage we provide to our customers is affordable.

What you need to know
With immediate effect, we are making some changes to our guidance on assessing and treating employed income. This applies to both new and existing residential and Buy to Let customers, where affordability assessments would be completed.

These changes also apply to applications that have been previously submitted both pre and post offer.  Please notify us of any material change of the customer’s circumstances in order for us to reassess affordability.

Customer Scenarios

  • Customers who have not and do not expect to experience a change in their employed income
    • Treat in line with our current policies and processes
  • Customers who have or expect to have a reduction in their employed income
    • If the customer can provide evidence of their revised income, this revised figure will be used when assessing affordability.
    • If the customer cannot provide evidence of their revised income, we will be unable to help until they are able to provide evidence
  • Customers who are no longer receiving employed income or have been told by their employer that their employed income will not continue, AND it is not being replaced by the government scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)
    • Please explain that we will be unable to help with a mortgage application at this time

The government scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) is an income type that we will accept and Credit Policy will be updated accordingly.

View their updated FAQs document here.

2 April 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

THE MORTGAGE WORKS – VALUATION UPDATES

We wanted to let you know that we’ve now updated our guidance on how we’re treating valuations during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, including:

  • our timescales for valuations on pipeline cases submitted prior to 27 March, as well as for new business
  • what’s happening with HMOs, and
  • what’s happening with homebuyer valuations and full building surveys.

For full details of this and our latest guidance, please visit our dedicated webpage.

7 April 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

Covid19 update for Intermediaries

We are monitoring the outbreak of Covid19 (Coronavirus) closely to ensure we are taking the necessary steps to protect our colleagues, maintain our services and support our customers.

We expect the Covid19 disruption to continue for some time and although the effects should be temporary, we are aware that our borrowers may be financially impacted.

We have made a number of changes in response to the ongoing Covid19 outbreak:

Applications – We are continuing to accept applications as normal. Given the current situation and the impact on resources, we aim to assess new applications within 5 working days. Click here for more information.

Changes to lending criteria – changes made 31 March 2020 – full details here.

Recently placed cases – Pipeline cases will be honoured under our lending policy rules before the above changes were implemented and additional consideration applied to affordability. Consideration will be taken on all applications regarding affordability, job type and job sector.

Valuations/AVMs – Currently we are progressing applications as far as possible however, no physical valuations are currently being carried out. We will continue to use AVMs for some remortgages and further advances within the parameters of our current lending policy. We will not carry out an AVM for purchases or staircasing for shared ownership. Click here for full details.

Mortgage offers – We have responded to the government guidelines for customers whose home purchases have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click through here for full details.

Signatures – We will accept scanned copies of signatures on mortgage application form declarations and offer documents. We still require a wet signature on the mortgage deed.

Completions – Our completions team are continuing to function as normal. Solicitors should apply for funds in the usual way, giving a minimum of 5 working days’ notice. Further details available here.

Conveyancers – We do not have any specific information regarding the ongoing operations of individual conveyancing firms and would advise applicants to speak to their conveyancer/solicitor directly.

Thank you for your patience.

We would like to thank you for your patience and will deal with enquiries as soon as we can. In these difficult times, we remain focused on providing you with the excellent service and support you have come to expect of us, and we thank you for your continued loyalty.

If you require any further assistance, please contact our Helpdesk in the normal way and regular updates will be available on our website under lending criteria.

1 April 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

AVM’s – as per previous email we have implemented an interim AVM policy which includes the ability to undertake this type of valuation at 70% on residential and 65% on BTL (some additional restrictions apply)

Products – whilst we have taken the strategic decision to withdraw some products from our rate card we maintain a strong product offering with current products up to 80% LTV including both fixed and discounted rates

BDM’s and Mortgage Desk support – remain fully functional with BDM’s working from home supporting the broker community

SLA’s – with our underwriting team now working from home and working through pipeline and new cases our SLA’s remain in a great place; New Cases – within 48 hours / Post & Admin – within 72 hours / New Registrations – within 24 hours

3 April 2020

I just wanted to confirm some changes we have made with immediate effect to our AVM policy;

The LTV on residential purchase, Remortgage and Further Advance is now 70% (this does not include flats or bungalows and a maximum property value of £750k).

The LTV on BTL is 65% for BTL applications and the same rules as above apply.

We continue to accept cases outside of this criteria and will underwrite in full awaiting the physical inspection.

2 April 2020

See Paragon’s latest update from their Managing Director here.

1 April 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

BRINGING REASSURANCE TO YOU AND YOUR CLIENTS

Below are some of the things Paymentshield is doing to support you and important updates on our products. The links will take you to their website for full details of all the changes.

Quick Quote

Paymentshield have enhanced their Quick Quote tool to help speed up the quoting process. They’ve partnered with global analytics company Lexis Nexis. Read about how it can help you ignite those GI conversations below.

QUICK QUOTE ARTICLE

eBook

Along with Quick Quote, Paymentshield have also released a new eBook that can help you maintain client relationships and focus on the remortgage opportunity in these uncertain times. Click on the link below to download and also to request a call back from your RSM.

DOWNLOAD THE EBOOK HERE

COVID-19 and FAQS

Read about Paymentshields approach to COVID-19 and what they are doing to ensure their employee and client safety. Your clients may have some questions about their cover during this uncertain time, so Paymentshield have put together a list of the most popular one’s for you to share with your clients. They cover Home Insurance, Income Protection and Mortgage Protection.

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Product Updates

Due to the recent restrictions and government guidelines, there have been some product changes within the Paymentshield group. Coplus, their Home Emergency provider have started to limit call outs where possible. Below is a list of all the cases where they will be deemed emergencies and cover will still be provided.

HOME EMERGENCY COVER UPDATE

There have been updates in products and their availability, Paymentshield have also removed certain cover types until further notice. These changes affect Income Protection, Mortgage Protection and Rent Protection, click the link to find the full detail of the cover levels affected.

PRODUCT AVAILABILTY UPDATE

1 April 2020

New Business Enquiries

As a valued intermediary partner, we wanted to advise you on who to contact if you have new business enquiries.

The impact of COVID-19 means that we are constantly assessing our resource allocation relative to the demands of our broker partners and customers. In order to continue to provide you with the best enquiry management service, it has been necessary to reallocate some team members to other areas of the business, as well as others being placed on the government’s Furlough scheme.

From Monday 6th April, we would ask you to direct ALL new business enquiries as follows:

Please call: 03333 701101 (option 4)
Email: enquiries@pepper.money
Website: https://www.pepper.money/intermediary

Please note: Regional Development Manager’s mobiles and our Telephone Business Development Manager’s direct dials will be diverted to this number.

For ALL application processing enquiries:

Please call: 03333 701101 (option 1)

You can also continue to track the progress of all ongoing cases via the broker portal.

Our team at Pepper Money is dedicated to providing you with a high level of service and are always here to help!

As always, thank you very much for your ongoing support.

3 April 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

As we continue to adapt to our new reality created by the Coronavirus pandemic, I want to let you know that our core business processes are fully operational and we remain open for business. And due to our hedging strategies, we maintain a strong capital position.
Our full support

It’s with some pride and, to be honest a degree of admiration, that I’m able to confirm that 99% of our servicing, marketing and proposition teams are now working from home, with only a small number of colleagues working in our offices to handle incoming post.

All of our processes are fully operational and our telephone lines are open as normal (although the noise of family life in the background may not be quite what you’re used to).

Our sales, technical support and business development teams are also fully operational and set up to support you remotely. Please do let us know what support you would find helpful at this time if we are not yet providing it. You can do this through your usual contacts in Royal London.

Keeping you informed

There’s no doubt that further challenges lie ahead for your business and for ours. The health and safety of our people and customers will remain our top priority while doing everything we can to support you and your clients. If anything changes to impact our current levels of support we’ll let you know.

30 March 2020

During these uncertain times, we understand that it has been difficult for mortgage brokers to meet with their clients. We have therefore established an easier way for documentation to be provided to us.

Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic and the government restrictions continue, we have made a decision to accept electronically certified ID and Proof of Residency. We understand that different systems are used to electronically identify customers and we will therefore require the electronic check to be uploaded to the Portal, with the uncertified ID and Proof of Residency.

Further to this, we also appreciate that access to a printer/scanner will be limited. We will therefore also be accepting photographs of all documentation (providing they are clearly legible) if the mortgage broker, or their client(s), is unable to scan them.

30 March 2020

Santander have created a new COVID-19 website page with update FAQs.

View it here.

3 April 2020

3 Month Offer Extensions:

We will offer 3 month offer extensions on those cases that have formally completed. There will also be no further checks on the case i.e., regarding payslips, vals etc if it is implemented.
If a formal exchange has not happened we are reviewing this but are unable to confirm at this time what we will do.

Maximum LTV AT 75%:

As of Friday at 3.00pm we issued an announcement that for Purchase and Re-Mortgage on Residential cases we will now only offer a maximum 75% LTV in these areas. If your brokers submit a case outside these parameters, regrettably we will return it to them as I am sure you will understand it now falls outside of our policy and proposition.

However, they will see our whole product range on the sourcing systems as these are unable to be removed until today/tomorrow, as well as on our website.

We are working on a set of “Pop Ups” to explain the new criteria for this and on our AIP system and our Affordability calculator. Hopefully, these will show soon, but in the meantime if a case over 75% comes in as a result of a broker utilising these systems, again regrettably we will return the case.

Cases going “Nowhere”:

If as a result of all that happened last week, your brokers have cases that are not proceeding and have been abandoned, could I ask they let us know please? We can then take this off the system and free up capacity as well as preventing us from working on those cases that are going “nowhere”

I hope that helps, as soon as I get further updates I will advise.

30 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

Skipton have created a new FAQs page on their website to help you understand their policies relating to COVID-19.

View it here.

3 April 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

The impact of the Government’s actions to control the Coronavirus outbreak is developing daily and we know you might have questions about how we are processing your business.

Temporary changes to our lending policy and updated guidance

With immediate effect we will be making some temporary changes to our lending policy, full details of these changes can be found here.

We’re here to support you

During these challenging times we’d like you to know that we are doing everything we can to support you and your clients. To get the support and information you and your clients need, we’ve developed a useful information page.

The page provides an overview of:

·         Dealing with pipeline cases;

·         Valuations;

·         Our process for payment holidays;

·         Mortgage Offer extensions; and

·         Remote Video Interviews (ID requirements).

Click here to find out more.

We appreciate your patience and understanding during these unprecedented times

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
It’s unfortunately become a well-used phrase but these are unprecedented times, for everyone, but also within the mortgage industry. In our 45 year history, we’ve never encountered anything like this. But we remain determined to work together with our colleagues, customers and valued business partners to rise to the challenge in the way that we have to others in the past.

We’ve been reviewing the current situation and listening fully to Governmental guidance and have been able to safely enable over 700 colleagues to work from home and implement a process to assist our existing customers through these difficult times.

We’ve had to make some difficult decisions. We recently announced that we would stop accepting new applications for the time being as we reviewed the pipeline and we can now communicate the following.

These changes will now apply across both our Commercial Finance and Personal Finance applications in pipeline:

Cases at Pre offer stage
All cases are on hold until further notice. We’ll constantly review this and communicate further, either holistically or on specific cases when this changes. Unfortunately, in this market, we’re not able to put a timescale on this right now.

Cases at Offer stage
Where we’ve issued an offer, our underwriters will continue to review cases and will communicate next steps with you as soon as they can.

Purchases
• Where a case has already exchanged, we’ll review the customer’s affordability to ensure this is still right for them.
• Where the case is offered and not exchanged as of 3rd April 2020, we’ll pause the application for an initial 3 months. We’ll constantly review our processes in line with market conditions and government advice, but for now, we will not progress these cases.

Remortgage & other products
We’ll undertake a full review of the customer’s affordability to ensure it’s affordable, still right for them and that they want to proceed.

• Where the current property value can be established (and with validated affordability), the case can progress.
• Where the property value cannot be confirmed and/or affordability validated, the offer will be suspended and reviewed when appropriate. Again we cannot, in the current circumstances put a timescale on this.

In Commercial Finance where a case is below 50% loan to value and where we can be confident that affordability is both sustainable and plausible we’ll look to progress these cases. If this is a bridging case we’ll also need to be confident around the exit.

We’re working as fast as we can. We’ll contact your customers directly and we’ll keep you updated on your cases as quickly as possible.

If you have any specific questions about offered cases, continue to call us on the number you’ve always used, and we’ll do our best to answer them. Please refrain from calling if your case has not offered as the information given above will apply.

Our teams are working incredibly hard helping our brokers and customers; our SLAs have understandably been adversely impacted as we prioritise the existing customer communication so please bear with us.
We do not underestimate the impact that this will have on you and your clients and we have not made these changes without very careful consideration of all factors involved. We do however feel that these changes are necessary to support our colleagues, existing clients and the position of both us as a lender and anyone entering into a new financial transaction in these unpredictable times.

I wish you and your families well and appreciate as ever the support that you give us and I sincerely hope will be able to give us in the future.

Stay safe,
Richard Tugwell

3 April 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

TSB

TSB news: Update to ID&V process

To help customers and brokers observe social distancing during these challenging times, TSB has temporarily adapted the current ID&V process for all mortgage applications to allow a scan or photo as proof of ID, and address.

All brokers need to do is ask customers to send the required ID information to them via email:

  • A scan or photo of acceptable proof of ID and proof of address documents.
  • Photo of themselves holding their ID and proof of address documents facing the camera.
  • And, a close-up photo (selfie) of their face for ID verification.

Once brokers compare the scan/photo of the ID documents and the people, and can verify they are authentic, they can upload the files directly to TSB Mortgage Pro. This will be accepted as certified ID verification.

For more information please contact your National Account Manager.

2 April 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

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, the Protection Platform team has been supporting our insurer partners in ensuring that we are capturing relevant medical information through our underwriting question set.

From Thursday 19th March we included an additional question to the system to understand customers’ personal circumstances in relation to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please note, any applications you had
created before this date will still have the same question set that was originally completed.

What’s new?
We have added a specific standalone question to the “your general health” section and we have worked with Insurer partners to maintain our “fully underwritten” premium offering. This initial question may trigger some
reflexive questions.

See their guide for full details.

6 April 2020

Vida Homeloans have created this FAQs document to help you understand their Payment Holiday policy.

View the guide here.

27 March 2020

Clydesdale Bank

A new Payment Holiday Link for Clydesdale Bank is now live.

On the payment holiday form, it asks for the borrowers’ sort code number. This is not the borrowers’ bank account sort code where they collect the customer’s mortgage payment from. Every Clydesdale mortgage that completes is a given a sort code and account number. The Sort Code will begin with 82 and these can be found on the borrower’s annual mortgage statements/first payment notice letter/payment changes letter etc.

1 April 2020

Clydesdale Bank
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 clydesdale bank continues to use avms wherever possible for remortgage business, we have had to take a difficult decision and temporarily suspend all new purchase and buy-to-let 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 valuations for residential remortgage cases. Our criteria is detailed below:

• Remortgage only
• Loan-to-value up to 60%
• Loan size up to £300,000
• Maximum property value of £500,000

Existing 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.

Contacting your BDM:
Your telephone business development manager is currently out of the office, so for help and support with any applications, please contact your dedicated field business development manager, you can find their contact details below.
Business development manager: Matt Martin
Contact number: 07920 051 605
Email: matthew.martin@virginmoney.com

Don’t forget that you can find the latest status of an application in our case tracking updates. If you do need to call us, you can find our contact details on our website.

Yours sincerely
The Clydesdale Bank Intermediary Team

30 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