Kensington Mortgages extends offer on residential and BTL deals

Kensington Mortgages extends offer on residential and BTL deals


Residential products at 85% loan to value (LTV) have been discounted by 0.20% to 3.39% on a two-year fixed rate.

A five-year fix discounted by 0.35% remains at 3.79%.

The product fee has been cut from £1,299 to £499 on both. On BTL, the offer is available at 75% LTV for a two-year fixed term at 2.59%, as the discount of 0.30% continues.

Craig McKinlay, new business director at Kensington Mortgages, said that this reinforces the commitment to supporting underserved borrowers across the UK, helping intermediaries provide the best possible service and choice to clients.

Coutts makes product range available through Mortgage Brain

Coutts makes product range available through Mortgage Brain


The lender’s range of flexible residential mortgages, including its fixed rate and tracker products, are now available on the MortgageBrain Anywhere and MortgageBrain Classic systems.

Chris Gallant, associate director at Coutts, said: “This is an exciting next step for us in working more effectively with our intermediary partners, while also making our products more accessible to firms who may not have previously considered looking at Coutts’ products for their most wealthy clients.

“For clients there is the added advantage that they do not just receive a mortgage, they become a Coutts client. This means that they are able to benefit from a host of the ancillary services that Coutts provide including a multi-currency debit card and access to our concierge service.”

Mark Lofthouse, CEO of Mortgage Brain (pictured), said the team had been working in partnership with Coutts over recent months to launch its products to intermediaries via sourcing systems.

“We are absolutely delighted that its residential mortgage products are now available to our customers,” he added.

TML, Cambridge BS and Pepper Money shake up product ranges – roundup

TML, Cambridge BS and Pepper Money shake up product ranges – roundup


Complete FS also recently added Kent Reliance, Foundation Home Loans, Landbay and The Family Building Society to its panel.

Phil Jay, director at Complete FS (pictured), said: “Introducers now have the best opportunity of not only accessing complex whole of market support in one place, but also having deals underwritten onsite as well.

“We are committed to bringing brokers and lenders closer together, which benefits everybody. It is a testament to our successful formula that Magellan has made us their first packager partner.”


The Mortgage Lender

The Mortgage Lender has increased its loan-to-value (LTV) to 90% and has reduced its completion fees and a cashback range.

It has also increased its product tiers from three, known as TML 1-3 to seven, now Real life 1-7.

A £750 cashback product on Real Life 1 has started at 3.3% for a two-year fix at 70% LTV.

Rates for Real Life 1 at 70% LTV starts at 2.8% for a two-year fix and 3.55% for a five-year fix. At 90% LTV a two-year fix starts at 3.99%.


Pepper Money

Pepper Money has reduced the price on seven of its two-year fixed rate residential mortgages.

Rates have been cut on Pepper 18, Pepper 12 and Pepper 6 for clients who have not had a CCJ or default in the last six months.

On Pepper 18, two-year fixed rates up to 80% LTV have been reduced from 4.28% to 3.93%, while rates up to 85% LTV have been cut from 4.43% to 4.33%.

On Pepper 12, two-year fix rates up to 70% LTV have been cut from 3.78% to 3.63%, and up to 75% LTV reduced from 4.18% to 3.78%. The rate for up to 80% LTV on Pepper 12 has also been slashed by 0.70% from 4.68% to 3.98%.

On Pepper 6, two-year fix rates up to 70% LTV have been reduced from 4.48% to 4.08%, and up to 75% LTV have dropped from 4.78% to 4.23%.

Marketing director at Pepper Money, James Blower, said: “We recently announced Pepper Money’s intentions to seek authorisation for a banking licence and the finalisation of terms to purchase Optimum Credit, subject to regulatory approval.

“However, we aren’t standing still and we continue to work to ensure we are providing brokers and their clients with market leading specialist products.”


The Cambridge Building Society

The Cambridge BS has added Help to Buy mortgages to its product range that will be available to existing Help to Buy homeowners looking to remortgage, as well as first-time buyers.

The range includes a two-year discount mortgage, with a starting rate of 2.24%, and a two-year fixed rate both of which are available to registered intermediaries looking to place business within The Cambridge’s lending area.

The products have application fees at £199 and no completion fees.

Andy Lucas, chief operating officer at The Cambridge BS, said: “We’re hearing from borrowers who are looking for choice of product when coming to the end of their current Help to Buy deal.

“With the latest reports suggesting that over 150,000 households have already been helped by the scheme, there will be a growing remortgage market developing over the new few years.”

Estate agents resisting reservation agreements – Ministry of Housing

Estate agents resisting reservation agreements – Ministry of Housing


However, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is not planning to make the agreements mandatory at the moment, despite resistance from estate agents.

MHCLG confirmed it will be publishing research into the subject later in the year, while the Conveyancing Association is also working on a draft template standard agreement.

Beth Rudolf, director of delivery at the CA, told Mortgage Solutions: “The industry group, the Home Buying and Selling Group, set up to work with MHCLG is developing a process and industry accepted wording for reservation agreements.

“We are hoping to have everything in place for a pilot to be signed off in December to establish the reaction to reservation agreements and potential benefits and issues which they bring.”

Industry figures suggest between 25% and 33% of potential housing transactions collapse at present costing £270m per year and there are hopes reservation agreements will drastically cut these numbers.

Speaking at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum seminar, The future for the home buying process, Matt Prior from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government explained the agreements would show a commitment to the transaction from both parties.

“Essentially, buyers and sellers are both worried that the other side is going to change their mind,” he said.

“Buyers and sellers are also both worried about gazumping, but it’s interesting that the fear of gazumping is actually much greater than the prevalence.”

Ideally the process will be led by the estate agent when an offer is accepted with the buyer putting down around £500 to £1,000 as a commitment which would go towards the deposit.

For buyers, if the property turned out to be unmortgageable or a similar situation, or for sellers if the buyer was unable to get a mortgage, then they could withdraw without penalty.

Otherwise should one party pull out of the transaction because “they do not fancy it”, then the other party would receive the money.

“That doesn’t fully compensate for the emotional stress of the process that has broken down, but it does go some way to easing the financial stress,” Prior added.


Hit estate agent’s numbers

Prior also noted that while there was strong support from buyers and sellers for this agreement, it was proving difficult to get estate agents on board.

Around 50% of buyers and 70% of sellers would like to use the agreements if they were available, according to MHCLG research.

“We’re not making them mandatory at the moment,” Prior said

“We want to try this as an idea – a number of players independently came to us and said we think this might work.

“I know there is a concern among estate agents that it might reduce their sale subject to contract numbers – that they sign up people who ultimately are not going to make it through.

“But we think it could be used as a signal – as a seller perhaps that says something different about who they should pick and as a buyer you can feel more reassured that this transaction will make it through to the end.”


Does industry want it?

Reservation agreements have garnered support from consumer groups, however the Home Owners Alliance (HOA) warned that they would need to be mandated for estate agents to comply.

HOA founder and chief executive Paula Higgins noted that these were already standard in the new build sector with a small cost upfront which showed the buyers were being serious and had an obligation.

“We’re really hoping to get estate agents onside but I don’t think anything like that will happen on a voluntary basis,” she warned.

“I appreciate things need to be piloted. We appreciate all the effort that’s going into it right now, but let’s give it a fighting chance because I think it is a simple and easy way forward.

“But does the industry really want it?” she added.


Rise in risky business lending echoes build-up to 2008 financial crisis, Bank of England warns

Rise in risky business lending echoes build-up to 2008 financial crisis, Bank of England warns


The increased role of non-bank lenders and changes in the distribution of corporate debt could pose a risk to the UK’s financial stability, the bank’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) found.

The committee warned the growth of debt across the world and particularly in the US corporate sector, “had parallels to the growth in the US subprime mortgage market before the crisis”.

Policymakers added that global leveraged loan market was “larger than – and was growing as quickly as – the US subprime mortgage market had been in 2006” while underwriting standards had weakened.

The UK corporate sector has been influenced by global debt market conditions, with high investor demand also driving growth in these types of loans, along with lower underwriting standards, the FPC said.

Leveraged loans by UK non-financial companies had reached a record level of £38bn in 2017 and a further £30bn had already been issued in 2018.

The committee said it would assess implications from the surge of borrowing for UK banks in the 2018 stress test in December.

At the same time, the FPC said it is continuing to monitor the risks of Brexit on financial services for households and businesses.

But added that it judged the UK banking system to be strong enough to withstand a “disorderly, cliff-edge Brexit”.

Water supply fail at new FCA office interrupts workflow

Water supply fail at new FCA office interrupts workflow


Financial Conduct Authority staff were sent home on Wednesday from the regulator’s headquarters on the edge of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after reports there was no water in the building’s toilets.

The FCA began relocating 3,000 staff to the new base at 12 Endeavour Square from Canary Wharf in the summer.

The move to the new 425,000sq ft building is costing £60m.

A spokesman for the FCA said: “The FCA building at 12 Endeavour Square is currently experiencing an issue with the water supply. As a result the building was closed [yesterday] afternoon and staff were sent home.

“We have instigated our business continuity plans so our critical functions, including the contact centre, continue to operate and staff are able to access our IT systems. We have raised the issue with the landlord and insisted that it is fixed as a matter of urgency.”

Mortgage lenders and brokers expected to offer clients a view on solicitor quality

Mortgage lenders and brokers expected to offer clients a view on solicitor quality


The conveyancing regulator noted that with more data being made available, customers should be given more choice in the firm they want to conduct their legal services when completing a mortgage.

Following guidance from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to encourage consumer choice, conveyancing firms will be more open about the price, type and quality of services they provide.

And the CLC expects mortgage lenders and brokers to play their part in the process.

Speaking at the Westminster Legal Policy Forum seminar, The future for the home buying process, CLC director of strategy and external relations Stephen Ward said: “No matter how information is provided to a potential client about price, service and quality of a particular conveyancer, we expect that information to be available.

“So if it is available through a portal that the lender or broker or whoever operates, we would expect that information to be available then, so that can inform the consumer’s choice.”


Better informed customers

Discussing the transparency changes, Ward explained that better conveyancer information was going to change the home buying experience.

“We talk about it as people being better informed on the price, service and quality of conveyancing so they can better inform the choice of their conveyancer,” he said.

“It is difficult for law firms to set out what they do differently, what the client can expect to experience, how they will be serviced, what people will be like.

“[So] the service element is really important in helping the consumer understand what they are getting for their money.

“There are lots of services out there, like Trustpilot, which are available that can give customers a sense of what they can expect from a firm and what others have experienced and we’re encouraging firms to use those services,” he added.


Reasons for choosing

Matt Prior from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government echoed that improving the transparency of conveyancing services was critical.

“It is difficult for conveyancers to describe in a pithy small number of data points what a good service looks like, but that’s absolutely what they should be striving for,” he said.

“So consumers don’t say ‘I should go with them because they cost £250’, but because choose the firm because they’ve got some really good reviews and they specialise in the type of property going to be bought.”


E.ON and BNP Paribas to develop ‘green mortgages’

E.ON and BNP Paribas to develop ‘green mortgages’


The pair aim to provide homeowners with finance through their mortgage to improve the energy efficiency of their home.

Under the scheme, movers, first-time buyers, and remortgagors will be able to use their mortgage to borrow further via a linked ‘energy efficiency home improvement loan’.

BNP Paribas Personal Finance would provide the improvement loan financing and E.ON would provide a managed service to install appropriate energy efficiency solutions.

The improvements through the loan could also result in a discounted mortgage rate once the energy efficiency measures have been verified via an updated EPC, the two firms said.

It comes after Bank of England staff recently found more energy efficient homes were a lower credit risk.

Around 19m households in Britain fall below an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C rating and could save up to £380 a year by putting basic measures in place, according to E.ON and BNP Paribas.

Michael Lewis, chief executive of E.ON UK, said: “Green mortgages have the potential to be a game changer in the delivery of affordable finance and we are ready to meet the challenge for home-owners motivated to take the step into energy efficient living.

“Our agreement with BNP Paribas Personal Finance is a further step along this journey and brings together two well-known international companies with expertise in financing and delivering energy saving solutions across Europe.”

Claire Perry, minister for energy and clean growth, added: “The UK has led the world in cutting emissions whilst growing our economy –  with clean growth driving incredible innovation and creating hundreds of thousands of high quality jobs.

“10 years on from the Climate Change Act, the first ever Green GB week is a time to build on our successes and explain the huge opportunities for business and young people of a cleaner economy.

“I’m delighted to see how many more businesses and organisations such as E.ON and BNP Paribas Personal Finance are seizing this multi-billion pound opportunity to energise their communities to tackle the very serious threat of climate change.”

Duncombe: What makes a good broker? The Mortgage and Protection Event 2018

Duncombe: What makes a good broker? The Mortgage and Protection Event 2018

This year’s event aims to help you improve and grow your business, by bringing you an adviser-focused agenda covering key market issues and offering practical business advice.

Duncombe’s presentation ‘Are you a good mortgage broker, or a great one?’ will offer practical tips and advice on behaviours and processes to elevate yourself to the next level, to deliver better service to your customers and create a virtuous circle which will grow your business.

Richard Donnell, director of research at the Zoopla Property Group will lead another session on where your remortgage and buy-to-let business is likely to come from next year.

He said: “Homebuyer and homeowner behaviour will inevitably dictate what type of mortgage cases you will be writing in the next 12 months – and, to an extent, the level of business you can expect. This session will focus on the housing market in your region and where the future residential purchase market may go.”

Other speakers include Danny Belton, head of lender relationships, and Kevin Roberts, director, from Legal & General Mortgage Club, who will be hosting the opening sessions at The Mortgage & Protection Event 2018.

Roberts will open The Mortgage & Protection Event in Manchester on 7 November, Birmingham on 8 November, and London on 15th November, with Belton opening the sessions in Southampton on the 14 November.

Venue and dates:

Manchester, Etihad Stadium – 7th November
Birmingham, Cranmore Park – 8th November
Southampton, St Mary’s Stadium – 14th November
London, Allianz Park – 15th November

For more information see our website.

CMC pulls ads claiming ‘95% of brokers guilty of mortgage miscalculation’ after complaints

CMC pulls ads claiming ‘95% of brokers guilty of mortgage miscalculation’ after complaints

In the Facebook advert, Trusted Mortgage Claims said ‘95% of UK mortgage brokers are guilty of mortgage miscalculation on your repayments’.

And in another ad, the CMC claimed ‘95% of people in the UK were mis-sold their mortgage if it was taken out before 2012’.

The two adverts triggered complaints to the ASA over whether the claims were misleading and could be substantiated.

In response, Trusted Mortgage Claims agreed to remove the ads and agreed not to make the claims in their marketing communications.

A number of CMCs have targeted mortgage customers, particularly interest-only customers, in recent years.

Trusted Mortgage Claims’ website says people who have had a mortgage in the past 25 years may be due compensation.

Users are encouraged to enter their details into the site for an assessment of their mortgage by the company.