Self-employed borrower evidence requirements and returning to previous higher loan to value (LTV) limits are also on the cards for the next 12 months, the lender revealed.
Speaking during its webinar, new business director Craig McKinlay (pictured) said the lender had been investing in the business including hiring 40 new people since the pandemic hit, with a focus on business development teams and underwriters.
“We’ve got big recruitment plans especially for underwriting so we can support brokers as best we can and get back to really good service levels,” he said.
“We want to enter new markets this year as part of our growth plans.
“There’s some new build areas we’re not in at the moment on first charge – things like shared ownership, bank of mum and dad propositions, there’s some interesting possible replacements for Help to Buy we’re looking at, so watch this space.”
Earlier in the webinar Legal and General Mortgage Club head of lender relationships Danny Belton and Knowledge Bank CEO Nicola Firth both argued lenders should be taking a more pragmatic and recent look at self-employed borrowers’ businesses.
McKinlay appeared to acknowledge the need to address that and added that Kensington was planning to do lots of work on the self-employed proposition.
“We need to think … normally we’d take one year’s accounts, is that still the right thing to do?” he said.
“Should we be looking to change that, bearing in mind some people will have been hit by Covid, some will have become self-employed?”
McKinlay added: “We’ve always done lots of high LTV lending – typically we’ve done a lot of 90 per cent and some 95 per cent, so we’d like to get back to those levels.
“And we’d like to get back to buy-to-let at 80 per cent and 85 per cent which we did pre-Covid-19.”