Hinckley and Rugby BS launches digital application system
A spokesperson from Hinckley and Rugby told Mortgage Solutions that the system is not available to brokers.
The system, developed in Denmark by Festina Finance, will help the lender’s mortgage team process the customer interview, generating a decision in principle, comparing products and terms and predicting timescales.
In addition, the system offers a fact find for residential house purchase and remortgage applications, which is tailored to the firm’s lending criteria and affordability calculations.
The building society said that ongoing development will see a personalised self-service online platform introduced later in 2019 for customers to use themselves.
It also said that in coming months the project’s next stage will enable customers to generate their own decision in principle for residential and buy-to-let mortgages and use calculator tools.
An online application process will have inbuilt affordability calculations and document uploading. The self-service platform will also enable non-interactive, execution-only lending.
Dean Waddingham, chief customer officer at Hinckley & Rugby, said it will quicken each application’s journey from enquiry to completion.
“It supports our staff adviser and the customer, from streamlining a smarter interview and fact find to improving the efficiency of the subsequent processing to deliver a quicker outcome.
“It is the result of our commitment to focusing on what our customers need plus a can-do collaboration with Festina Finance.
“This is creating significant efficiencies to benefit the customer and the society, greatly reducing time spent manually generating documents. The structure to the interview enables us to better predict timescales, a key ingredient in the customer’s satisfaction with their experience.”
Sainsbury’s, Hinckley and Rugby, Secure Trust Bank and Kensington Mortgages cut rates – roundup
Sainsbury’s Bank has reduced its two-year rate for remortgages at 60% loan-to-value (LTV) to 1.85%, with no product fee and £250 cashback.
At 75% LTV, the lender has cut the rate to 1.88% with no product fee and £250 cashback.
For the residential range, all end dates remain 30th September 2020 for two-year products and 30th September 2023 for five-year products.
Hinckley & Rugby
Hinckley & Rugby Building Society has cut the interest rates on three of its 95% LTV residential mortgage products.
Its five-year fixed rate mortgage has fallen from 3.75% to 3.49% while its two-year fix is now at 3.09%, down from 3.19%.
The society’s two-year discount variable, which was charging 3.34%, is now 2.99%. All the other features of the three mortgage products remain unchanged.
Secure Trust Bank Mortgages
Secure Trust Bank Mortgages has cut prices across 70 products and introduced a new zero fee range.
Rates have been cut by up to 0.85% on purchase and remortgage products, with the largest reductions on the STB3 product tier, for clients who have registered no County Court Judgments (CCJs) or defaults in the last six months.
In the STB3 range, the 75% LTV two-year product has been cut by 0.85% to 3.74%. The 70% LTV version is now at 3.64%, and the 65% LTV has a rate of 3.54%.
In the STB2 suite, which means for clients who have registered no CCJs or defaults in the last 12 months, the 75% LTV three-year product has also been cut by 0.85% to 3.54%. For the 65% LTV two-year product, rates are now available from 2.94%.
In the STB1 range, for clients who have zero CCJs or defaults in the last 24 months, the 65% LTV five-year product has been reduced by 0.60%, giving a rate of 3.69% and the 65% LTV two-year fix is now set at 2.24%.
Secure Trust Bank has also introduced £0 product fee mortgages available up to maximum LTVs across all of its product tiers.
A two-year fixed rate with £0 product fee is available from 2.84% up to 65% LTV and a five-year fixed rate with £0 product fees up to 65% LTV is available from 3.84%. The range, which includes options for interest-only and part-and-part, offers free standard valuations on purchases of properties valued up to £350,000 and free standard valuations and fees assisted legals on remortgages.
Kensington Mortgages has reviewed its mortgage proposition across its residential and buy to let ranges, available from 12 September.
The changes include the launch of a 95% LTV mortgage available to first-time buyers and home movers covering two-year and five-year fixed terms with rates starting at 4.64% for a two-year term.
Fixed term rates for its buy-to-let Core products have been decreased by up to 0.20% at 85% LTV starting at 3.99% for a two-year fixed rate.
In addition, five-year rates now have individual low reversion margins, offering improved affordability for landlords.
Kensington has also extended its 90% LTV residential range distribution to all KMC registered brokers.
We’re a small lender at the forefront of innovation – Thornley-Yates
Improving how we do business is an ongoing opportunity so we like to be at the forefront of innovation in the mortgage market.
When Twenty7Tec gave us an early demo of what would become a new online application process helping mortgage intermediaries save time and boost their productivity, we were very interested in being an early adopter.
We could immediately see the advantages of enabling mortgage intermediaries to complete and submit applications to multiple lenders via one platform without the need to retype the client’s data or having to use each lender’s portal.
Once the data has been keyed in, the broker can select a lender’s product by pressing one button and get a decision in principle or full mortgage application.
The broker can apply via a portal they are acquainted with and not have to navigate a lender’s that they may be unfamiliar with.
As a smaller lender we do not have the resources of a change management or IT team, but we saw value in handling it within the business development team as we know what intermediaries like and we know our application process inside out.
Sourcing systems are sensitive to criteria, each lender has its quirks.
We needed a validation override function for brokers to deploy because we are a manual decision maker and offer a fair ear to cases with wrinkles that do not fit into rigid automatic systems.
The trialling was methodical and exhaustive with help from the technical team at Mortgage Advice Bureau, through which we learned a lot as we tried to break the process to ensure it was robust.
Risk was assessed, compliance checked and due diligence was straightforward, partly thanks to our long established relationships.
Dedication is worth it
Leading in this area is a sign that although we are a smaller lender, we are progressive and want to show commitment to intermediary lending.
It took time – perhaps a couple of months of dedication – but it has been worth it.
We’re always keen to find better ways to do business together and eliminate any barriers that hamper intermediaries when submitting.
We don’t mind how brokers interact with us, we’re one of the lenders still accepting paper applications, but we do want intermediaries to get to us via their preferred route and this new system gives them another choice in how they do that.
Hinckley and Rugby BS introduces complex cases panel
The mutual’s Mortgage Referrals Committee, which meets daily, is formed of six senior staff to consider complex and niche mortgage applications and enquiries from brokers.
The panel is made up of chief executive Chris White, deputy chief executive Andrew Payton, operations director Dean Waddingham, head of sales and marketing Carolyn Thornley-Yates, mortgage operations manager Julie Chapman and mortgage services manager Martyn Shortland.
Thornley-Yates (pictured) said putting six senior decision makers in the team demonstrated the lender’s commitment to lending whenever possible.
“On first hearing, some mortgage applications look like they won’t make the grade; they are the quirky ones, the complex cases, the niche requests that would be immediately rejected by automated and inflexible lenders,” she said.
“What intermediaries want with a complex case is to know it has been given a fair hearing.
“The six people on our new committee know the mortgage business inside out and can provide a nuanced assessment of mortgage applications and broker new business enquiries that are a break from the norm. If we can lend, we will,” Thornley-Yates added.
Hinckley and Rugby BS tweaks BTL reference rate
The mutual has also added a new buy-to-let calculator for brokers on its website for cases which are not self-supporting purely on rental income.
It will calculate the maximum loan based solely on rental income or on a combination of rental and personal income.
The lowered reference rates on pound-for-pound remortgages will see applications assessed using a ratio of 140% at pay rate plus 2.5%. In contrast, purchases and remortgages which include capital raising see rental income assessed using 145% at 5.5%.
Hinckley and Rugby head of intermediary sales Carolyn Thornley-Yates (pictured) said: “Assessing like-for-like remortgages with the lower reference rate is designed to be helpful to landlords with lower rental yields and those feeling imprisoned on other lenders’ standard variable rates.
“This new arrangement is just one of the many ways we help with affordability for landlords in the current market. One example is top slicing where we accept personal income to cover rental shortfalls.
“Another initiative is joint borrower/sole proprietor arrangements for another borrower to join in a mortgage for income purposes without assuming ownership of the property on the title deeds,” she added.
‘Athletes, like the rest of us, need somewhere to live’ – Star Letter
This week our Star Letter accolade is awarded to Emily Smith, business development manager at Hinckley and Rugby Building Society for her letter in response to the post: TSB halts mortgage lending to sports professionals
She wrote: It’s disappointing that TSB has blown the full time whistle on mortgages for those who earn their living from professional sport.
The good news is that some lenders remain fans of the professional player – including Hinckley and Rugby Building Society. TSB told Mortgage Solutions that residential mortgages for professional sportspeople is a very small part of its business and they are not typically customers TSB can support.
We see them differently. They are a minority, but it’s not an insignificant one. There are 4,000 professionals in football alone.
Add in those paid to play both codes of rugby, cricket, basketball, golf, ice hockey, the Olympic disciplines and to ride racehorses and it’s a sizeable crowd of earners who, like the less sportingly gifted among us, need somewhere to live.
The argument against such lending is that paid playing careers can be short and there is the risk of serious injury undermining future earnings.
But the same applies in other walks of working life – other professions also retire relatively early. We will still lend to them and to professional sportspeople because the mid-life career change is not the end of employment. It’s increasingly seen as a desirable re-boot.
We will still consider a term up to a maximum age of 75 even if the applicant will retire early from her/his current job but intends to go into a different form of employment until normal retirement age.
Even though they may hang up their original boots earlier than the rest of us, professional sportspeople are generally driven, talented, quick learners and have bags of commitment – making them promising employees in other kinds of teams in other arenas.
‘Hard work does pay off’ attending trade events – Paradigm
The article from Hinckley and Rugby Building Society’s Carolyn Thornley-Yates included some valid points which have perhaps not previously been considered due to the focus on ensuring an advisers’ experience is as good as it can be.
It is important to make a distinction between industry trade exhibitions such as the Financial Services Expo, network events which are often compulsory for appointed representatives to attend, and club events (such as our own) where directly authorised firms more often than not have no obligation to attend and have not paid to do so.
All of the above have varying formats and different aims, as well as different associated costs for involvement.
We don’t have any exhibition element to our events, preferring a more focused approach to maximise adviser (and lender or provider) experience according to what they’d like to achieve.
All events have 30-minute roundtable sessions which allow advisers to spend valuable time with the business development manager or representative.
We’ve found these are popular with attendees and presenters and usually facilitate new or develop existing business relationships.
Our experience of the Financial Services Expo events has been that if you want people to visit your stand, you’ve got to work to catch their attention, and just pitching up on the day isn’t enough.
But hard work does pay off – we have invested heavily to maximise our impact at these and have been hugely successful as a result.
It is refreshing to hear that Hinckley and Rugby do their research on attendees prior to events, allowing them to tailor their conversations and maximise the adviser experience; not all lenders do this and it would be great to see more following suit.
There are of course data protection obligations that a club or network may have surrounding the sharing of adviser data before and after an event, and they may wish to protect their members from what could arguably be unsolicited marketing.
At Paradigm we always ask advisers for their permission for us to share their contact information following our events and therefore are able to do so in a timely manner for all of those who consent. Nevertheless, I feel strongly that protecting and attributing value to an intermediary’s data and therefore only sharing it where relevant and necessary is important – and is certainly appreciated by our members.
It is undoubtedly a shame to have poor attendance overall (believe me we are always disappointed if this happens) when both time and money have been spent on an event.
However, it would also be remiss not to mention that of course there are always going to be drop outs on the day of any event, regardless of how hard the event organisers work.
Overall, we are always challenging ourselves to find new and innovative ways to engage with intermediaries and ultimately help them write more business across the board.
I welcome Carolyn’s comments and hope we can continue to add value to lender and intermediary relationships via our events.
Last week’s star letter came from Des Platt who said that it could be a help to have met lenders at trade shows before working with them.
What did you miss? The top 10 stories on Mortgage Solutions this week – 07/04/17
The subject of trade shows is generating a lively debate within the industry while house prices, robo-advice and the Lifetime ISA were also main subjects of interest.
Here’s a round-up of this week’s most read stories.
FPC fails to apply common sense to mortgage affordability
Lender: ‘We don’t want to feel like cash cows for trade show events’
House prices expected to climb 29% in five years – CEBR
Digital broker targets 10% of market with automated advice service
Property firm ordered to remove misleading ‘fast sale’ claims – ASA
The Accord Supper Club from Newcastle on the Quayside
9 facts about Lifetime ISAs your clients should know
Brokers report doubling of mortgage availability – IMLA
Platform confirms retention fee and switching process
Mortgage broker gets 15-month suspended jail-term and alcohol ban for bottling colleague – updated
Lender: ‘We don’t want to feel like cash cows for trade show events’
Like many lenders, we’re on the road. Pitching up at hotels, sports grounds and other venues, we arrive with high expectations and leave thinking some were great, some mediocre and some could be much better.
The differences between a great expo and an unrewarding one are stark. Lenders, charged thousands to attend, are sometimes unsure if our presence is fully utilised by clubs and networks.
The worst expos could learn a lot from the best. It works for everyone if expos are a more valuable investment of time and money for lenders and delegates. It would encourage lenders to do more, more often. Complacency on the part of organisers will deter lenders, particularly smaller ones.
What does an excellent expo look like?
For a recent expo (* I’ll tell you whose it was at the end of the article) we were sent the delegate list in advance and were delighted to see that some brokers we had wanted to visit would be there – normally our resources would not lend themselves to being able to visit them all in person.
The network also set us up with six confirmed 15 minute appointments during the day. We sent two BDMs and got real value for money. The network encouraged people to come to our stand and with the advance work we had done we were able to speak to all the brokers we had identified as being potentially compatible with our proposition. We will definitely support its next expo.
Signs of a less valuable expo (I won’t tell you which this one was) are: no delegate list; no introductions; poor placement; few attendees; and exhibiting time restricted to during lunch or coffee breaks only. By our calculations less than one third of the brokers attending visited our stand, which is a shame.
Having the delegate list in advance is top of our wish list. It provides an opportunity to prepare, to maximise the limited time available. We can research which brokers are particularly compatible with our proposition, maybe contact them in advance to let them know we’ll be there or give them a shout out on social media.
We can check our records to see if they’ve submitted a case or an enquiry recently, refresh our memory of what they look like if we’ve already met them – basically, tailor the experience for the broker.
When lenders find it difficult to measure the impact of taking a stand at an expo, it leaves a question mark over their future participation. Attending expos is the biggest single investment we make in such activity and we need them to be productive more consistently.
Expo with a curl
When it’s good, it’s very good. Seeing 50 people face to face in one day represents great value for money. But when it’s not so good, we can feel that advantage is being taken of us.
We don’t want to feel like cash cows for these events, there needs to be mutual value.
Clubs and networks could also help their members, and their lenders, by thinking beyond the traditional expo.
Simply Biz comes up with all sorts of initiatives to put brokers and lenders in touch – last year it organised an event with us, Ipswich, Newcastle and Newbury building societies where each of one us hosted an event at our own HQ and Simply Biz arranged for around 15 local brokers to attend each one. We’ve had quite a lot of business on the back of this and the brokers’ feedback was excellent.
It’s not good for the market, or customers, if intermediaries stick to the same high street lenders for every application. Clubs and networks should be combating inertia by doing whatever they can to connect intermediaries to more lenders, including at expos.
*A big shout out to Mortgage Intelligence for its excellent expo.
Hinckley expands interest-only offer across residential range
The maximum loan-to-value (LTV) is 60% for purely interest-only, or up to 80% LTV for a part interest-only and part repayment loan.
There is no minimum income required, and the only acceptable repayment vehicle will be the sale of another property or properties in England or Wales in the same name as the applicant(s). There must be sufficient equity in that property to repay the new loan.
Hinckley’s head of intermediary sales Carolyn Thornley-Yates said: “Our manual underwriting enables us to assess each application for any of our mortgages on an individual approach, and that will also be true of interest-only applicants.
“Interest-only will be attractive for those buyers who meet our requirements of a repayment strategy. We are pleased we can offer them our great choice of mortgage products at very competitive rates.”
Hinckley deals which can apply the interest-only include a two-year fix at 2.09%, a five-year fix at 2.59%, a two-year discount at 1.65% and a lifetime discount at 1.95%.
The application and completion fees are standard across repayment and interest only.