During the early stage of a mortgage process, the lender will now only make an enquiry search of an applicant’s credit report, which is then held on file for 60 days – but isn’t visible to any other financial institutions.
A customer will be able to see the bank’s search if they request a copy of their credit file, but it won’t affect their ability to get further credit.
Once a full mortgage application is submitted, a so-called hard credit check is carried out by Santander, which is registered and can be seen by other financial organisations.
Tesco and HSBC also only carry out soft credit checks for a mortgage in principle.
Helping people to ‘shop around’
Brad Fordham, director of mortgage distribution, Santander UK said: “We are very pleased to be introducing soft credit checks for our intermediary partners.
“With the recent rise in base rates, many people will be prompted to shop around for mortgages.
“Our soft search will enable customers to do this at Santander without the risk of affecting their credit rating.”