And he noted that the club had seen a 30 per cent increase in the amount of lending that was being completed with specialist lenders.
Speaking on Specialist Lending Solutions Television in association with Pepper Money, Belton disputed concerns that regulators would be worried this market was drifting towards sub-prime lending.
“Yes we need to be careful as an industry, but I think now the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) rules are well embedded into our industry as to what is the right advice,” he said.
“We’ve got the loan to income (LTI) caps and relative stress testing, so every case is underwritten to a really strong standard now and therefore we’re making sure it is actually affordable, for the right reasons, and lenders are lending to the right customers.
“If they feel the customer is going to be under pressure or potentially threatened by the size of the loan or the repayments that are there, they are not going to lend.
“So I think as an industry we’re in a really strong place because of that, to help these customers sensibly,” he added.
Pepper Money sales director Paul Adams echoed Belton’s comments.
“I agree, affordability is king, hence why with so many specialist lenders the underwriters will want to look at bank statements to make sure there is no stress in terms of their current financial situation,” he said.
“We’re lending to customers who’ve had problems in the past, not problems today, but affordability is at the forefront of all lending decisions.”