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Broker roles verge on ‘intrusive’ as lenders upend views on job lending profiles

  • 17/06/2021
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Broker roles verge on ‘intrusive’ as lenders upend views on job lending profiles
Brokers have had to get ever-more intimate with their clients’ finances as lenders’ view of job roles has turned on its head during the pandemic.


Jobs that were once favourites with lenders, such as pilots or publicans, have taken on a more risky profile, while others, like care professionals and supermarket staff, have grown in lending stature.

Today, Reliance Bank refreshed its rates on a range of mortgages introduced last year exclusive to key workers, with the aim to support police officers, fire fighters, care workers, transport workers and teachers during the health crisis.

Gareth Byrne, head of mortgages at Reliance Bank said the rate reductions were based on brokers’ feedback, leading to rate cuts at 95 per cent loan to value.

“The full list of key worker roles is on our website and if any are not there, then brokers can pick up the phone,” Bryne said.

The new range reflects a wider modification of how job roles are viewed by lenders as the pandemic has changed people’s income and employment security.

“The role of the broker is very, very different today. It is intrusive. You have to know everything about the client so that you can fight their corner,” said Sarah Tucker, managing director at The Mortgage Mum.

“We need to understand intricately what happened, what could happen in the future, where the client’s headspace is, and then to create a picture for the lender before we even submit the application,” Tucker said.

Lenders now ask about future earning potential, as well as for evidence of past income, for professions such as hairdressers, beauticians and restaurateurs, whose income profile was altered by multiple lockdowns.


Travel and hospitality

Meanwhile, airline pilots and cabin crew, who previously would have comfortably been able to access five times salary, are now viewed as a less safe bet.

“Quite a few pilots have spoken to me in the past year. They get a small basic, which is covered by furlough, and the rest is flying hours. So they if they are not getting the flying hours they are not picking up the vast majority of their money,” said David Sheppard, managing director at Perception Finance.

Only this week, Stobart Air, which operates Aer Lingus flights in and around the UK and Ireland, went into liquidation after failing to find a buyer.

“Sometimes it’s right for a broker to say, ‘now’s not the time’,” Sheppard said.

The position for waiting staff is altered too, including where they’ve been unable to earn tips and tronc — income which is shared out from a central tipping box.

Publicans are among those who were able to borrow healthy income multiples pre-pandemic, but for whom that’s now less simple.

Darren Meehan, mortgage broker and principal at Bright Money Independent, said: “Pub owners who may have borrowed five times their income a couple of years ago are really struggling to pay the bills. Some might even be shutting shop.”

The contrast is where workers have taken on additional hours, such as in supermarkets, and where roles have been seen as essential to the functioning of the economy during the health crisis, like delivery drivers.

Danny Belton, head of lender relationships, L&G Mortgage Club, said: “Lenders will be live to those sectors currently experiencing difficulties, like travel and hospitality. Alternatively, some sectors, such as gardening, building and delivery services, have been very successful.

“Lenders will lend if income can be evidenced, so it’s more important than ever that borrowers have all the necessary paperwork.”

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