Leeds BS and SimplyBiz Mortgages partner to launch exclusive holiday let product
The deal is available with immediate effect and is available on loans to value up to 75 per cent, with rates starting at 3.89 per cent for two years.
It come with no fees, assisted legals, free valuation and a procuration fee of 0.5 per cent.
Earlier this month Leeds Building Society revised its criteria to allow the use of average of seasonal income in its affordability assessment for holiday let applications.
The mutual has also altered minimum income requirements and will accept joint applicants with a total income of £60,000 where one applicant earns less than £40,000.
It has also added 60 per cent and 70 per cent LTV deals to its holiday let offering in March , as well as a 75 per cent LTV product in May.
SimplyBiz Mortgages head of mortgages Makayla Everitt said: “People choosing to explore more of their home nations has, unsurprisingly, prompted an interest in investment into property for holiday let purposes and we are particularly pleased that the team at Leeds Building Society has been able to offer this market-leading exclusive rate to our members.
“In addition, Leeds’ recent announcement on the changes to its affordability evaluation to better reflect a holiday lets’ earning potential means this is a very attractive solution.”
James Chutter, Leeds Building Society’s corporate account manager, added: “A higher demand for UK holidays, and the potential returns for a property investor, have created more competition in this area of the market.
“We’re delighted to provide SimplyBiz Mortgages members with this market-leading exclusive product, along with our recently enhanced affordability assessment to support clients as they achieve their goals.”
The holiday let market has been growing in popularity due to a combination of tax benefits, staycation boom and knockdown savings encouraging borrowers
Lenders have been entering, or re-entering, the space, with recent entrants including InterBay, Market Harborough Building Society, The Cumberland Building Society, Darlington Intermediaries and Cambridge Building Society.
CHL Mortgages joins MAB lender panel
Other members on its distribution panel include SimplyBiz Mortgages and New Leaf.
CHL Mortgages’ commercial director Ross Turrell (pictured) said: “Our initial launch has already exceeded our expectations in terms of both business volume and the quality of cases received and so our appointment by MAB will expand upon this encouraging start for the business.”
MAB CEO Peter Brodnicki said: “We’re pleased to welcome CHL Mortgages on board and provide our 1,600 advisers with even more choice. CHL have a fantastic product range and we’re looking forward to working with them closely.”
The intermediary-only specialist BTL lender returned to lending in May this year, opening its closed-book status after 13 years.
It offers a range of products covering houses in multiple occupation, multi-unit freehold blocks, new build, ex-local authority and properties above or adjacent to commercial sites. It will also offer cover on minor adverse and first-time landlords on certain products.
The lender then went on to hire a trio of business development managers and hired former Fleet Mortgages executive Andy Valvona as its national accounts manager.
CHL Mortgages has consequently been added to the lending panels of Dynamo, Tenet, Paradigm and Legal & General Mortgage Club.
SimplyBiz Mortgages broadens UTB deal to include first charge options
The firms have been partnered for around four years to offer second charge products to SimplyBiz’s members.
Head of SimplyBiz Mortgages, Makayla Everitt (pictured), said: “UTB’s team has consistently shown its commitment to supporting our members in securing the best outcomes for clients.”
She added: “We often receive positive feedback about their flexibility in underwriting and speed of application processing as well as their general approach to finding solutions to meet borrowers’ requirements. I am sure their addition to the first charge panel will be warmly welcomed.”
UTB’s director of property intermediaries, Mike Walters, added: “We have built a strong relationship with the team at SimplyBiz Mortgages over the last three years, and I’m delighted that its members will now have access to our growing first charge product range as well.”
He continued: “I’m sure this will be a very successful move for SimplyBiz, their members and the bank.”
SimplyBiz Mortgages offers support services, software and data to support financial advisers, financial intermediaries and product providers.
The company has supported over 3,000 intermediary firms with regulatory and business supports to support over 400 financial institutions.
SimplyBiz Mortgages partners with MBT
Members who register for access to MBT Affordability will have free additional access to MBT Criteria Search for a limited time. The tool provides advisers with a search bar that allows advisers to research any panel lender criteria term.
Results are identified within the lenders’ own criteria guides and the exact wording is highlighted for advisers to review within the platform.
Richard Merrett, head of strategic development at SimplyBiz Mortgages, said: “With the limited housing stock available in the market, being able to give customers as much choice as possible in their home purchase is a key factor in a mortgage adviser’s ability to provide solutions, and this often starts with maximising affordability potential.
“It has become quite clear over the past 12 months that it is not always the most obvious or familiar lender which can deliver the best customer outcome.”
Tanya Toumadj (pictured), chief executive of Mortgage Broker Tools, said: “Affordability is a crucial part of the research process and more brokers are realising the importance of harnessing technology to make that process quicker, easier and more comprehensive.”
SimplyBiz Mortgages launches specialist finance mortgage club
The range of bridging loans, development finance, commercial mortgages and specialist buy-to-let products will be available from 12 lenders to start with.
The club will offer special arrangements and enhanced procuration fees, as well as exclusive access to some lenders and products which may not previously have been available to all brokers.
Lenders who are members of the Financial Intermediary and Broker Association (FIBA), which is owned by SimplyBiz parent company Fintel, are offering the products.
They are Affirmative, InterBay Commercial, LendInvest, Masthaven, MFS, Octane, Octopus RE, Reward Finance, Roma Finance, Together, UTB and YBS Commercial.
Advisers and brokers who are members of SimplyBiz Mortgages or FIBA can access the club.
“Many firms have taken the opportunity to diversify over the past 12 months,” said Martin Reynolds, chief executive at SimplyBiz Mortgages.
“This unique opportunity now gives SimplyBiz Mortgages’ members access to a number of lenders in this highly-defined lender area, offering a variety of solutions for client requirements and adding another strength to the proposition.”
SimplyBiz Group rebrands to Fintel with plans to add broker advice system
The group has operated SimplyBiz Mortgages since 2004 and also runs a business under the Defaqto brand providing an end-to-end advice system for Independent Financial Advisers and wealth mangers.
“We are very keen to expand our technology offering into the mortgage space,” said Matt Timmins, joint chief executive at Fintel (pictured).
“The options available to us are to partner with an existing technology business, build our own, or acquire a business that does something similar. It’s front and centre of what we are doing and a big part of our strategy for 2021,” he said.
Fintel represents around 6,000 advisors in all, of which about 3,500 to 4,000 are mortgage brokers.
The group reported lending of £16bn last year, with results for 2020 out next week expected to improve on that figure.
“Already, almost 60 per cent of revenue comes as a result of Software As A Service and subscription income — through the sale of technology services. We are looking to further digitise the business as part of the strategy.
“We want to bring in new technology to the mortgage broking world and we want to have real collaboration with the technology pioneers — the likes of Uinsure and Mortgage Advice Bureau — to bring in technology to benefit the whole sector,” Timmins added.
The new brand would act as the group name, with SimplyBiz and Defaqto continuing to operate under the parent. The new branding has been presented on wearefintel.com.
Ken Davy, chairman at Fintel, added: “Through two decades, we have helped customers to operate compliant and successful businesses, and worked with them to stay ahead of he curve, as the market has rapidly evolved through new regulation and increased digitisation.”
“The time is now right to harness our knowledge, influence and excellence to help the market and our clients to operate more effectively,” Davy said.
Accord’s Duncombe: ‘The last three months have been our busiest ever’
Jeremy Duncombe, Accord’s director of intermediary distribution said: “This is a position we weren’t expecting to be in, in March this year. So, all lenders are trying to react in terms of capacity and how we provide service.”
He explained the lender has been balancing capacity and demand and received too much business to continue to lend within its chosen range, so it has had to limit both its LTV and criteria.
He added that all its staff have been working from home, with many initially having to look after children and some being redeployed into different parts of the business, including collections and recovery.
Richard Merrett, head of strategic development at Simplybiz said the industry has to be thankful it is still operational and not suffering like travel or tourism, for example.
“The fact we have too much to do is a bit of a champagne problem,” he added.
“But, it is very challenging. People doing this job for a long time are having to relearn what they’ve known in the past because of the swaths of changes to products and criteria and then set against the backdrop where they can’t get the same level of service or support. Very tough working conditions,” but added this should really be viewed as a positive again, given some of the situations people are struggling with.
Sebastian Murphy, head of mortgage finance, JLM Mortgage Services said: “I think what most brokers may be struggling with is the contrast between the different lenders. Some lenders have got it right and are doing really well. Others are really struggling and regrettably the end of March can’t come quick enough for a few of them.”
See below to watch the video, hosted by Owain Thomas, features and contributing editor, Mortgage Solutions.
Regulator will target agile working and lender service levels – SimplyBiz
Speaking on Mortgage Solutions Television in association with Kensington Mortgages, Reynolds noted the regulator would expect everyone in the industry to be able to adopt more flexible working policies.
Reynolds, who is also chairman of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) noted that the pandemic had caused business continuity plans to be re-written across the industry and taken technology forward.
“As with probably a lot of other businesses, we moved our IT infrastructure probably 12 months forward in a week from where we were going to go,” he said.
“I think a lot of businesses were looking at being agile working from home a lot more, and it’s something that we wanted to do during the year, we just did it in March instead.”
He continued: “I think people will do that and I think the regulator will expect it.
“The regulator will especially talk to lenders and say where are your plans moving forward, how can you cope with that capacity?”
However, despite the switch to conducting business remotely, there is still a demand from borrowers for face-to-face advice.
Adrian Scott, group mortgage services director of Connells Group noted until the latest set of restrictions were imposed, customers were still wanting to come into branches.
“We’ve made a big change, we’ve adapted and now we do the majority of our business over the phone, but not all of it,” Scott said.
“Until the last week or so – customers did want to come in. So while branches are set up with PPE and screens and all the right protocols, customers were still wanting to come in and receive face-to-face advice.
“It was a fairly small percentage, but nonetheless it shows there is that appetite there and I don’t think that will go away,” he added.
Scott also echoed views from other contributors that businesses would need to continue to be flexible, and listen to customers and employees about the best way to operate.
SimplyBiz to help brokers increase income with Solution Hub launch
The mortgage club said it will support members in the creation of additional income through the development of propositions, upskilling staff or referral opportunities.
The Solution Hub has five other sections including market updates, compliance support, helpdesks, Q&As and business support where firms can find out how to access finance and use the correct software.
The hub follows the club’s launch of its support package which included a three-month payment holiday, mental health support and a virtual learning centre.
Martin Reynolds, CEO of SimplyBiz Mortgages, said: “Whilst we are committed to supporting our members during this current uncertain period, we also are aware that there is a need to help advisers futureproof their businesses and business models.
“The Solution Hub has been launched with two key priorities, to help members deal with the current situation and to provide an ongoing support proposition that can be used at any point in time to maximise available opportunities.”
“We will continue to add content to this hub over the next weeks and months to ensure it stays timely and relevant to assist our members and their businesses, and allow them to provide the very best service to their clients,” he added.
Delivering advice in a non-face-to-face world – SimplyBiz
There is, however, no requirement for this method of delivery and, as far as the regulator is concerned, the rules are broken down into advised and execution-only sales.
Neither of these makes any reference to the method of delivery, although execution-only typically is transacted without any personal interaction.
So, with potentially fewer people wanting or requesting direct personal contact due to the pandemic, how can mortgage advice firms adapt from their traditional face-to-face method of delivery?
In reality, there is nothing different in the process other than the obvious, but firms will still need to consider the following:
Disclosure: Documents such as the Client Agreements and Privacy Notices can be emailed to the client. Where fees are charged these can be acknowledged, and consent given by the client, in a return email and therefore a record kept.
Know Your Client: This key difference in the delivery could be achieved either by a video link or a conversation over the phone. There is always a reluctance to send documents for the client to complete in isolation, as it is difficult to capture soft facts and sense check that the client understands the full purpose and need for full disclosure. However, documents could be sent to the client for completion and returned prior to a follow up video or phone call.
Client verification: Liaise with the lender to understand their stance on the acceptance of electronic verification. Both requesting original documents and asking the client to submit certified copies can be problematic, so electronic verification could be the perfect, simple, solution to this matter.
Suitability report: The content of the report will be the same as if the advice was delivered face-to-face. There is no requirement for a report to be signed by the client(s) but if this is your practice, it can be requested by postal or email return.
Submission: Requests for supporting documentation will likely be made in the same way, although, potentially, delays could arise when documents and signatures are travelling back and forth in the post. Due consideration to the timeline of completion should be notified to the client(s) in advance of the services being provided in order to ensure that service standards meet expectations.
Also, it is important to consider the various data protection implications of homeworking during a pandemic and the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) has been at pains to emphasise that data protection should not be a barrier to increasing or different types of homeworking.
During a pandemic, staff may work from home more frequently than usual and they can use their own devices or communication equipment – data protection law does not prevent that.
You will, however, need to ensure that the same kinds and levels of security measures you would normally utilise within the office are also in place for the homeworker.
Restrictions can be overcome
If the current situation puts pressure on a client’s affordability, our current understanding is the vast majority of lenders will treat each case on its own merits and your client should be proactive about contacting the lender as early as possible before difficulty arises.
It is also imperative that clarity is sought on whether individual credit scores will be impacted by any payment holiday arrangement so that an “informed decision” can be made by the client(s).
There is without doubt much to consider in what is a particularly strange period in our history, but I believe there are restrictions that can be overcome, and also opportunity in the new low interest rate and the potential for discussion with your clients around many matters.