Santander hires HSBC’s Aaron Shinwell to homes division
He will join the firm in Q2 of this year and will manage the homes division’s strategy for UK and Europe. He will also oversee product delivery and controls.
The division predominantly deals with mortgages, but it also includes other aspects of financing or running a home.
Shinwell has worked at HSBC for around six years, most recently as head of unsecured lending and underwriting services for over two years. He also held the role of interim head of mortgages and savings and head of strategy and planning for retail products.
Prior to HSBC, he worked for more than seven years at Lloyds Banking Group and also spent nearly six years at HBOS.
Tracie Pearce, who was appointed chief customer officer for Santander’s homes division at the start of last year, said: “We are delighted to welcome Aaron to the Homes team, he brings with him a wealth of expertise and experience in delivering for customers.
“Aaron will work closely with me and Brad Fordham, our head of mortgages, as we explore new opportunities to grow our business, support our broker partners and help even more customers on their homeownership journey.”
Santander removes all 60 per cent LTV fixes and adjusts rates
This includes two and five-year fixed mortgages either with no fee or with product fees up to £2,499, as well as equivalent products in its Help to Buy range.
The lender has also increased fees and rates between 75 and 85 per cent LTV. Two and five-year fixes at 75 per cent LTV either with a £999 fee or no fee have been increased by 0.05 per cent.
An 80 per cent LTV deal fixed for two years has also risen by 0.05 per cent to 1.44 per cent. This product is a remortgage and has a £999 fee.
Additionally, the fees on a pair of two-year fixed 80 and 85 per cent LTV purchase mortgages have increased by £749 to £999.
At 90 per cent LTV, a two-year fixed purchase product has had its rate reduced by 0.10 per cent to 1.64 per cent and the fee increased by £250 to £999.
Among its product transfers, some fixed and tracker rates will rise by up to 0.15 per cent and at 85 per cent LTV, increases will be as high as 0.20 per cent. The rate on its buy-to-let two-year fixed product transfer at 75 per cent LTV has increased by 0.05 per cent.
Santander offers personalised rates to borrowers who are transferring.
Elsewhere, Santander has reduced rates at 85 to 95 per cent LTV by up to 0.35 per cent, with the biggest cut being made to its five-year fixed fee-free remortgage at 90 per cent LTV which now has a rate of 2.99 per cent.
The changes will come into effect on 19 January.
The top 10 most read stories on Mortgage Solutions this year
The house purchase market boomed. Brokers experienced their busiest quarter on record between July and September according to IMLA, gross mortgage lending this year is tipped to peak at £316bn and housing transactions are forecast to reach 1.5m, according to UK Finance.
Calls for an extension to the stamp duty holiday were met, giving borrowers until the end of June to benefit from savings of up to £15,000 before tapering off and ending on 30 September.
As business volumes reached record levels, brokers had to negotiate vast changes in self-employed and flexible income criteria, the government launched its 95 per cent mortgage guarantee scheme and Help to Buy was extended.
It’s certainly been an eventful year.
Here’s a round-up of the biggest stories on Mortgage Solutions this year.
Help to Buy extended for all buyers and builders until 31 May
Buy-to-let market opens up to first-time landlords – Moneyfacts
First-time buyers say deals collapsed after banks backtracked on initial offer
Loan to income changes could shut first-time buyers out of 95 per cent market – analysis
Govt-backed 95 per cent LTV mortgage guarantee scheme will be open to all – reports
Nationwide warns of ‘peak period ahead’ and returns 90 per cent LTV max term
Danish banks offer 20-year zero per cent mortgage deals
Government scraps EWS1 forms for buildings under 18 metres
Santander launching self-employed mortgage calculator as brokers call for more banks to follow
First-time buyers are not waiting for price drops, they are ready to buy now – Marketwatch
Santander and Nationwide increase tracker rates
Nationwide’s changes will apply to the mutual’s new business and existing products from today.
The two-year tracker product for home movers at 60 per cent loan to value (LTV) with a £1,499 fee has a rate of 0.94 per cent while the £999 fee option has a rate of 0.99 per cent. The fee-free alternative has a rate of 1.34 per cent.
At 95 per cent LTV, the two-year tracker with a £999 fee has a rate of 2.42 per cent and the fee-free product is priced at 2.54 per cent.
For first-time buyers, rates vary between 1.04 per cent at 60 per cent LTV with a £1,499 fee and 2.64 per cent for a fee-free tracker product at 95 per cent LTV.
For new home movers or first-time buyers, tracker rates begin at 1.14 per cent for a 60 per cent LTV deal with a £999 fee. For remortgaging borrowers, rates start from 1.04 per cent for a product with a £1,499 fee at 60 per cent LTV.
Santander’s rate changes apply to its two-year tracker products as of today.
At 60 per cent LTV, the rate is currently 1.64 per cent with a £999 fee while at 95 per cent LTV, the tracker product has a rate of 4.14 per cent with no fee.
All tracker products have no early repayment charges.
The Mortgage Lender hires Santander’s Sara Palmer as distribution head
It is a new role for the organisation and she will join the firm in January next year.
She was most recently national key account manager at Santander and has looked after key networks and distribution and helped build strategic relationships.
She has also worked as acting relationship manager at Mortgage Engine for around a year, and before that she worked at Morgan Stanley as head of packaged sales for the south for around two years.
Prior to that she worked as a key account manager at Platform for around seven years.
Shawbrook Bank purchased The Mortgage Lender earlier this year, having taken a minority share in the business in 2018.
Shawbrook said at the time that the main driver for the purchase was to strengthen its position and distribution in the residential and buy-to-let markets.
The Mortgage Lender has been growing its team, hiring Rachel Glue as a regional underwriter and Alice Baggott as a key account support manager.
It has been expanding its portfolio with both holiday let and self-employed products.
Palmer said: “Joining TML at this stage of its growth journey, and at such an important time for specialist lending, is an opportunity I simply could not turn down. The brand’s culture, people and leadership are also huge draws.
“Real life lending is such an exciting mission and I look forward to playing a role in the next stage of TML’s growth, adding value to brokers and advisers.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Santander for Intermediaries and wish the team well for the future.”
Steve Griffiths, sales director at The Mortgage Lender, said: “Being able to attract talent of Sara’s calibre to our senior management team is testament to what The Mortgage Lender has achieved over the past year. Her wealth of expertise and experience will help drive the team onto the next level as we embark on ambitious plans for 2022.”
Lenders prepping arrears capability amid fears borrowers may struggle next year
In a blog post, loan portfolio review and analysis firm Rockstead said that it was helping several mortgage lenders and servicers gear up their arrears handling resources and capabilities.
It said: “Most mainstream lenders we speak with have been relieved that there has not been an instant spike in arrears at the end of payment holiday and furlough schemes. They are, however, still concerned about the effect of future increases in bank base rate, tax rises and the increasing cost of living.
“We believe that most lenders and holders of mortgage portfolios are not being lulled into a false sense of security based on historically low current arrears levels. Operational resilience experts, risk managers and resource planners are already working hard to ensure all PRA and FCA requirements are adhered to when the arrears ‘uptick’ does materialise.”
Rockstead’s chief client services officer Richard Gater said that mortgage lenders and servicers “across the board” were increasing their arrears preparation. He said this included high street lenders, specialist lenders and building societies.
He explained: “When they come to us, they are looking for experienced arrears people who can help either gear up when anticipated arrears do come, or conversely, they may look to train their own staff up and we backfill where those staff have moved on.”
He said that companies were mainly coming to them for access to arrears professionals who they can call upon when they were needed. Gater added that mortgage servicing companies would also be investing in services and platforms to improve arrears management.
“It may not be now, but they are getting their ducks in a row for six months’ time or so,” he said.
Current arrears landscape
The latest figures from UK Finance show that mortgage arrears fell to historic lows in the third quarter of this year, with 74,210 homeowner mortgages in arrears of 2.5 per cent or more of the outstanding balance
It added that 25,110 homeowners were in early arrears of between 2.5 and five per cent of their balance, a fall of five per cent from the prior quarter and 10 per cent less than the same period last year.
Serious arrears, 10 per cent or more of the outstanding balance, grew by 70 cases compared to the previous quarter to 27,980. The report said that it has been growing from a low base since the first quarter of 2020 although the increase has slowed.
It added that around three million payment deferrals were granted between March 2020 and March 2021.
Bank of England research from earlier in the year said that payment holidays had “provided significant support to borrowers” and mortgage borrowers with payment deferrals were less likely to report a cut in spending despite being more prone to face a fall in income.
A UK Finance spokesperson said that nearly three quarters of people were on fixed rate mortgage deals so would not be impacted by interest rate changes and those on variable rates had price fluctuations factored into their affordability test.
However, it did expect “modest pressure” on arrears next year due to the cost of living and unemployment but the outlook was better than predictions a year ago.
Lenders responding to this publication said that they were taking every precaution to ensure that customers were supported and to account for changing economic conditions.
A Nationwide spokesperson said: “As a responsible lender, we ensure that affordability is assessed in a prudent manner that takes into account the potential for interest rates to increase in the future. We continue to closely monitor portfolio performance and we remain alert to the potential impact on our members of rising living costs and future interest rate rises.
“During the pandemic we increased the number of colleagues available to support members in financial difficulty and they remain available to support going forward as needed.”
A Santander spokesperson said that 250,000 customers had taken mortgage payment holidays during the pandemic, but 96 per cent had fully returned to mortgage payments. It added that around half of the four per cent who are in arrears currently were in arrears prior to taking a mortgage payment holiday.
The lender also noted that 83 per cent of Santander’s mortgage customers were on a fixed rate product so would not be impacted by changes in base rate during their product term.
The lender said: “We have a team of financial care experts ready to support any customers who are struggling to make their monthly mortgage repayments with tailored solutions based on their individual circumstances.”
“The earlier customers contact us, the better, and we would urge mortgage customers to call us as soon as possible if they are concerned about their payment.”
Jon Cooper, head of mortgage distribution at Aldermore, said: “If a customer does think they will have payment issues in the future, we’d advise they contact their lender as early as possible so there is time to plan ahead. At Aldermore, if a customer is experiencing problems, we’ll constantly engage with them to look at their individual circumstances and work out what options and payment plans best suit them.
“Throughout last year we further increased the capacity and capability of our business when supporting customers impacted by the pandemic, which means we’re in an even better position to assist customers when they require help.”
An Aldermore spokesperson added that the mortgage market review in 2014 had put in place regulatory guidelines so affordability higher base rates has already been incorporated into calculations.
He also noted that the implementation of payment holidays during the pandemic had forced lenders to improve their infrastructure, suggesting that most could be better prepared at dealing with customers with arrears.
Santander makes reductions and increases across range
Increases of up to 0.15 per cent have been made to two and five-year fixes at 60 to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV).
The largest increases have been made to two-year fixed products including the 60 per cent LTV deal with no fee, which now has a rate of 1.44 per cent up from 1.29 per cent.
For the remortgage option at the same tier with a £999 fee, the rate has risen by the same amount to 1.29 per cent, while the 75 per cent LTV equivalent has gone up to 1.34 per cent.
Santander’s Help to Buy purchase products at 60 per cent LTV fixed for either two or five years have risen by up to 0.09 per cent.
The bank has also reduced rates on higher LTV products, such as the two-year fixed purchase product at 90 per cent LTV with a £749 fee. This has a rate of 1.74 per cent, down from 1.82 per cent.
Five-year fixes between 85 and 95 per cent LTV have been cut by up to 0.16 per cent, with the headline reduction being made to its mortgage guarantee product which now has a rate of 3.09 per cent.
Stephen White appointed interim YBS CEO as Mike Regnier leaves for Santander UK
Regnier will work with White (pictured) until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition and both appointments are subject to regulatory approval.
White has been executive director and chief operating officer at YBS for nearly six years and was previously board chairman for YBS subsidiary Accord Mortgages.
He has also worked as the group chief operating officer at AIB for nearly two years, and prior to that was employed at National Australia Bank for around eight years, most recently as executive general manager for customer processing and payments.
Regnier has been with YBS since 2014, initially joining as chief commercial officer and has been chief executive for nearly five years.
He worked for the Building Societies Association for around five years and has also held senior roles at Money and Pensions and Service and TSB Bank.
John Heaps, YBS chairman, said: “I would like to thank Mike for his outstanding contribution to the Society over the last seven years. He has led the Society superbly through a period of significant challenge as we have addressed both the transformation to a more digitised world and the complexities of the Covid pandemic.
“Our performance this year, including the results at the half year showing strong growth in both mortgages and savings, strong profitability and over £40m of additional value passed back to our members, is a proper reflection of how well the executive has performed under Mike’s leadership.”
He added: “I am pleased that Stephen White, who is currently our chief operating officer, will take over as interim CEO. Stephen has more than 25 years of experience in financial services across the UK, Ireland and Australia, and has been with the Society almost six years. Stephen will ensure we continue to help real life happen for our members and build on the Society’s success of over 155 years.”
He said that it was currently working with executive search partners to find a permanent successor and he expected there to be a number of strong candidates.
White said that he looked forward to “working with my very talented colleagues to maintain momentum, and to continue to deliver our purpose of providing real help with real life”.
Regnier added that it had been a “great privilege” to have been YBS chief executive and said: “I feel that now is the right time for me to take on a different challenge and leave the Society in excellent shape for my successor to take the society on the next phase of its journey.”
Regnier is set to take over as Santander UK chief executive from Nathan Bostock, who has been in the role since 2014.
Bostock joined from Royal Bank of Scotland, where he worked from 2009 as executive director, group finance director and group chief risk officer.
Regnier said that he was honoured to be joining Santander, which he said had a “rich heritage in the UK, a strong track record of innovation and a commitment to helping our country prosper”.
He added: “I am excited to be able to make a real difference to people and businesses across the UK, helping them to thrive and grow with the support of Santander’s incredible team and unique services and products.”
Santander hires Jeffrey Krampah-Williams as national key account manager
Krampah-Williams was a business development manager (BDM) at Santander and has been part of the Santander mortgages team since 2018. He will be responsible for managing relationships with networks and broker groups in his new role.
Krampah-Williams (pictured) said: “I’m thrilled to have this chance to progress my mortgage career with Santander for Intermediaries and I look forward to growing and strengthening our business relationships in my new role.”
Graham Sellar, head of business development and key accounts at Santander, added: “With Jeff’s wealth of mortgage experience, we know he will be a great asset to our team, and I look forward to working with him.”
Krampah-Williams has worked in financial services for almost a decade, and was previously a BDM for Virgin Money and Nationwide. He has specialised in mortgages since 2013.
Top 10 most read mortgage broker stories this week – 29/10/21
Elsewhere, lenders increasing rates – particularly on sub-one per cent mortgages – in anticipation of a base rate rise held readers’ interest. The suggestion that the majority of lenders were willing to consider self-employed borrowers was also a story which captured brokers’ attention this week.
Autumn Budget ‘leaves a lot to be desired’ for housing market
Nationwide increases rates at 60 and 75 per cent LTV
OBR warns mortgage costs to rise 13 per cent by 2023
Santander ups rates on sub-one per cent deals
The Legal and General Mortgage Club Awards 2021 in pictures
Autumn Budget 2021: Bank corporation tax surcharge reduced to three per cent
Nearly half of homeowners have never remortgaged – Barclays
Autumn Budget 2021: Almost £2bn to be spent on converting brownfield land
Majority of lenders will accept self-employed and complex income – IMLA
Natwest raises rates at 60-75 per cent LTV and adds switcher deals