TMW updates broker portal adding online submission for limited companies
The system has been upgraded following consultation with brokers. It features improved case tracking and viewing on mobile devices and the option to add an administration user.
The lender, part of Nationwide Building Society, said that demand for limited company mortgages was growing and intermediaries can now submit cases online using a simplified and more efficient process.
The system has been made faster and more responsive, with questions either removed or clarified, meaning that requests for information are made only if needed at full mortgage application stage.
Case tracking has been split by sections, depending on the progress of the case, and the system is mobile device friendly enabling intermediaries to track cases while on the move.
Registered administrators can receive email updates for all or specific cases, helping brokers in receiving information and updates when handling cases and potentially if covering holidays.
Nationwide intermediary relationship director Ian Andrew (pictured) said the lender had conducted a wide-ranging and ongoing listening exercise with intermediaries from across the country.
“Our response to that feedback is clear and targeted, with the aim of reducing post-application queries and making case tracking more efficient and mobile device friendly. And all in conjunction with competitive BTL mortgage rates,” he said.
“We will continue to ask for broker feedback to enhance the system further and improve the processing journey.”
Substantial uplift in limited company
Dynamo chief executive Ying Tan said: “We’ve seen a substantial uplift in limited company enquiries and with the balance shifting towards lending of this type, it really highlights the importance of brokers having access to a slick, online application process that’s intuitive for the user.
“The ability to track progress and the option to update admin support are welcome additions from The Mortgage Works,” Tan said.
Mortgages for Business managing director Steve Olejnik added that he was pleased about brokers being able to submit limited company applications online.
TMW cuts limited company buy-to-let deals up to 0.3 per cent
The BTL arm of Nationwide Building Society has also introduced a series of fixed-rate purchase and remortgage products with a £1,995 fee.
Rates start at 1.64 per cent for the up to 65 per cent loan to value (LTV) deal with free valuation and a £250 cashback.
Additional options have been added in the large portfolio range, with new further advance and let to buy deals.
The TMW fixed rate two-year limited company products will be cut by up to 0.2 per cent. Two- and five-year limited company house of multiple occupation (HMO) options will be reduced by up to 0.3 per cent.
The two-year fixed rate limited company product at up to 75 per cent LTV with a £1,995 fee starts at 2.84 per cent, reduced from 2.99 per cent. For the zero fee, option rates now start at 3.29 per cent, reduced from 3.49 per cent.
For the limited company HMO mortgages, the two-year fixed rate product at up to 75 per cent LTV, with a £1,995, starts at 3.49 per cent, reduced from 3.79 per cent.
The five-year fixed rate at up to 75 per cent LTV has been reduced from 3.99 per cent to 3.74 per cent.
All these are available for purchase and remortgage and come with a free valuation.
TMW managing director Paul Wootton said: “This range of changes is designed to support landlords, including those looking for limited company and HMO options as well as those with large portfolios.”
TMW cuts buy-to-let rates and adds large portfolio products
The lender is also introducing a new range of large portfolio products at up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV) with a £1,995 fee including purchase and remortgage options.
Rates for the two-year fixed rate deals with a £1,995 fee start at 2.84% and with no fee at 3.29%, while the equivalent five-year products start at 3.39% with a £1,995 fee and 3.74% with no fee.
TMW is cutting rates for standard buy-to-let mortgages by up to 0.35 per cent and by up to 0.25 per cent on zero fee large portfolio deals.
Rates for the five-year fixed rate products at up to 65 per cent LTV with a £995 fee now start at 2.39%, reduced from 2.59%.
The five-year fixed at up to 75 per cent LTV with a £1,995 fee also starts at 2.39%, with the £995 fee product starting at 2.49%, reduced from 2.84%.
TMW managing director Paul Wootton, (pictured) said: “These changes are designed to support landlords, including those with large portfolios, by offering competitive rates and a wider choice of products to help manage their cash flow.”
Nationwide regionalises mortgage broker support teams
Business development managers (BDMs) and advisers (BDAs) have been restructured into regional teams with intermediary calls routed directly to the team for that area.
The lender said this aimed to provide greater consistency and familiarity of contact, along with having expertise where there may be different processes, such as in Scotland.
It now has more than 50 BDMs alongside 40 BDAs supporting product and criteria enquiries through the broker chat service or by telephone.
Nationwide said the total number of enquiries handled by the two brands’ intermediary support teams had reached almost half a million in the last year.
Head of intermediary support and new build Andy Dean (pictured) said the lender was listening to brokers and focussing on offering teams of dedicated experts to support intermediaries’ pre-submission queries.
“We’ve committed to maintaining choice in the way brokers interact with us, either by call or broker chat, which was recently upgraded to deal with technical queries,” he said.
“By regionalising our teams, it means intermediaries will be routed through to experts that primarily support their patch. It enables the BDAs, alongside the BDMs, to work closely in their regions to build local understanding.
“It also allows for faster response times, more time for quality discussions, supporting ‘right first time’ packaging and gives brokers a level of confidence that there are multiple layers of support,” he added.
A video outlining the changes is available on the Nationwide and TMW broker websites.
Nationwide updates broker chat service to offer tech support
This is part of Nationwide’s ongoing investment in improving broker support.
The instant messaging service will be geared up to answer technical and system support questions, as well as product and lending criteria, procuration fee and registration queries.
This will allow brokers to select the relevant option and route them through to the subject matter experts at the Society.
Brokers will also be able to ask a question before being connected to the team of business development advisers, so that queries can be answered more quickly.
Ian Andrew, Nationwide’s managing director of intermediary relationships (pictured), said: “We know from the feedback we’ve received that intermediaries appreciate the fast, streamlined response and interactive approach of our instant messaging service broker chat.
“Now we are upgrading that service to include options to ask about technical queries as well as product information, criteria, and procuration fees, which will offer brokers a smoother, better experience.
“By introducing the technology to our technical support team, we’re providing the broker with further choice into how they’d like to interact with us.”
Lenders are making concerted improvements to policy, criteria and service – Ying Tan
On a more positive note, it has been reassuring to see many lenders enhancing their propositions in an attempt to entice such borrowers off the fence.
Concerted improvements have been made to policy, criteria and service over the first few weeks to 2019. So let’s look at a selection of these.
Popular with portfolio landlords
It has been great to see Zephyr Homeloans enter the buy-to-let arena, and its diverse criteria including houses of multiple occupation (HMO) and multi-unit blocks (MUB) and competitive rates will undoubtedly prove popular with portfolio landlords and investors.
As will its high LTV options up to 80 per cent and the flexibility outlined in its fee structure with flat fee and £0 fee options sitting alongside standard percentage fees.
The Mortgage Works has announced that it is reducing its stress rate policy for like-for-like remortgage applications up to 65% LTV from 4.99% to 4.50%.
All other stress rates remain unchanged.
Underwriter review before fees
Precise Mortgages has moved to widen the availability on its buy-to-let range by reducing the minimum age from 25 to 21.
This is available to personal ownership, limited companies and HMOs, although HMOs exclude first-time buyer landlords.
Vida Homeloans announced an overhaul of its product range, its biggest change since launching into the market in October 2016.
This consists of several criteria improvements to its residential and buy-to-let product ranges, along with service enhancements and pricing reductions.
The lender has introduced a new option called Application Refer which, if triggered, means an underwriter will review the case before the broker has to pay any fees.
Vida will also now let brokers know what mandatory documents are needed to support an application.
Landlords need support
Finally, Teachers Building Society has reduced the income coverage ratio for lower rate taxpayers from 145 per cent to 125 per cent.
At the same time the society has increased the maximum age at the end of the term from 75 to 83 and raised the maximum term of the mortgage from 35 to 40 years.
All these enhancements represent positive moves and let’s hope this trend continues in February as landlords need all the support they can get in the current political and economic climate.
TMW to cut stress rates and launch 10-year fixes
At the same time, the specialist buy-to-let arm of the Nationwide Building Society, introducing a new 10-year fixed rate product range.
The stress rate for five-year fixed rate products up to 75% loan to value (LTV) is to be reduced from 4.99% to 4.50% on Thursday December 6.
Like-for-like remortgages over 65% LTV and up to 75% LTV will see their stress rate reduced from 5.50% to 4.99%.
And the 10-year fixed rate mortgage at up to 65% LTV will fall from 4.99% to 4.00%, or pay rate plus 0.75%, whichever is higher.
For borrowers looking for longer term security, the 10-year fixed rate range starts at 2.74% at up to 65% LTV, with a £1,995 fee, free standard valuation and £250 cashback.
Early Redemption Charges (ERCs) are applicable for the full 10 years.
However, the lender will also offer a 10-year fixed rate product that is ERC-free after five years, with a rate of 3.24% at up to 65% LTV.
The deal comes with a £1,995 fee, free standard valuation and £250 cashback.
Paul Wootton, managing director of TMW (pictured), said: “The new 10-year fixed rate products offer competitive rates and a choice of ERCs to widen choice and increase flexibility for landlords, who are looking to manage their cashflow while maintaining long term payment security.
“Along with recent improvements to our product proposition, this further illustrates TMW’s continued commitment to supporting brokers and landlords.”
TMW cuts limited company rates and adds further advance product
The lender, which is part of Nationwide Building Society, is reducing rates for selected limited company and 80% loan to value (LTV) mortgages by up to 0.10%.
It has also added a cashback option of £1,000 on some deals.
A range of limited company options are also being introduced, including those with a £995 fee and a five-year fixed rate houses in multiple occupation (HMO) product.
It is also adding 65% LTV HMO products with a £995 fee and a five-year fixed-rate further advance product for existing customers, with rates starting at 2.79% with a 1% fee.
TMW managing director Paul Wootton (pictured) said: “These changes are aimed at supporting landlords with varied needs and requirements, helping them to access a choice of products with competitive rates and to manage their cashflow.
“With ongoing improvements to our product proposition, this further illustrates TMW’s continued commitment to supporting intermediaries and landlords.”
The Mortgage Works and Kensington cut fixed rates – roundup
TMW has cut its two-year fixed to 1.49% for the up to 65% Loan to Value (LTV) mortgage with a £1,995 fee and to 2.14% with no fee.
Selected products at up to 75% LTV are also being reduced by up to 0.40%.
The five-year fixed rate mortgage at up to 75% LTV with a £1995 fee and free standard valuation and £250 cashback is also being reduced by 0.10% to 2.49%.
Additionally, a five year fixed rate limited company product at up to 80% LTV is being introduced, with a rate of 3.69%, in response to broker feedback.
Tracker rates start at 1.44% for the up to 65% LTV two-year product with a £1,995 fee. All tracker products have the switch to fix facility, enabling customers to switch to an existing customer fixed rate deal without incurring early repayment charges (ERCs).
In addition, the cashback of £250 for let to buy products is being extended across the whole let to buy range. Selected rates for large portfolio products will increase by up to 0.20%.
Paul Wootton, managing director of TMW (pictured), said that these changes are designed to support a wide range of landlords, helping them to access a greater choice of competitive rates and to manage their cash flow.
Kensington Mortgages has launched a ten-year residential fixed product for a limited time only, available from 26 September.
The new residential ten-year fixed mortgage, with five-year early repayment charge will be available at both 75% and 80% LTV. Rates start at 4.34% at 75% LTV.
Residential select products offered at 85% LTV have decreased by 0.20% to 3.39% on a two year fixed rate, while a five-year fix has decreased by 0.35% to 3.79%. The product fee has been cut from £1,299 to £499 on both.
On buy to let, the offer is available at 75% LTV for a two-year fixed term at 2.59%, a decrease of 0.30%. These offers will be available until 31 October 2018 for all completed decision in principle applications.
Craig McKinlay, sales and marketing director at Kensington Mortgages, said: “We’ve been making several changes recently across our product range, all of which have been well received by intermediaries.
“Our latest updates further reinforce our commitment to supporting under served borrowers across the UK, and we hope these changes continue to help intermediaries to provide the best possible service to clients, whatever their individual circumstances may be.”
Exclusive interview: TMW’s Paul Wootton on limited company comeback and stamping out rogue landlords
Speaking exclusively to Specialist Lending Solutions, Wootton admitted the lender found the market had changed quite significantly since its departure around five years ago.
“It’s challenging launching a new product which needs bespoke underwriting when you don’t know what the take-up is going to look like, but it’s been at the upper end of our expectations,” said Wootton.
“We’ve had quite strong demand which is very pleasing.
“Traditionally we’ve always had a limited company offering so we’re used to dealing with these cases and the extra checks involved.
“But we needed to understand what it would take to introduce new lending in this space and we improved that within the pilot.”
Changes made in the pilot phase included removing the floating charge, increasing the maximum loan to value of its products to 80% and increasing its procuration fee to reflect the additional work needed.
“We learned through the pilot and rollout so we were able to produce something we are pleased with,” Wootton added.
Mainstream limited company
With the overhaul of regulation and tax changes over the last two years the buy to let space has generally been perceived to be becoming more complex and technical.
This has seen a focus from more specialist lenders, but Wootton believes the limited company sector is also softening at the other end.
“It feels like limited company is going more mainstream,” Wootton continued.
“Before the changes it was a quite technical and specialised solution and that still remains – however, there’s also a simpler end of the market and that’s really where we are more interested.
“We’re trying to support a more ‘standard’ landlord who knows their business model but has taken tax advice and is only using a special purchase vehicle (SPV).
“There’s a sweet spot we are interested in, but we see it as a growing and sustainable part of buy to let,” he added.
This market, he expects to be driven by landlords being hit by the progressive tax changes.
Although some landlords will have been seeing higher tax bills landing since January, Wootton suggested this is likely to be a minority and it may not be until later this year or early 2019 that the majority begin to feel the effects.
“The tax relief changes are yet to have a really demonstrable effect but there surely will be some impact,” Wootton said.
“We are seeing some changes in behaviour, for example using spouses with a lower tax rate, but the majority of landlords will not have paid any increases in tax yet.”
Rogue landlords’ database
One of the key things the government has attempted to do is make the landlord market a more professional one and this is something TMW and its parent company Nationwide Building Society is supporting.
Its private rental sector partnership board brings together the National Landlords Association (NLA), the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), Shelter, Countrywide and The Nationwide Foundation and has been discussing and lobbying on a range of issues across the sector.
One of the early successes may be imminent.
The board has been pushing for limited access to the government’s database of rogue landlords.
“We support the rogue landlords database and would like access for lenders, brokers and letting agents to identify them,” Wootton said.
“We don’t want to do business with rogue landlords and we’re beginning to get traction with government on this.”
This also chimes with the government’s overarching look at regulation within the property sector.
Wootton is supportive of the government’s consultation that would bring the collection of ombudsmen together under one roof and would like this to go further with a housing court.
He believes this could help tackle the biggest issues in the rental sector.
“Most landlords want good tenants to look after their property, but the big challenge is when the relationship breaks down when there’s a problem,” Wootton continues.
“We don’t a have housing court, but Scotland does. If we had a functioning housing court I think we would tend to see most parties open to longer-term or indefinite tenancies because they would know their rights and have more security.”
The lender, through the Nationwide Venture Fund has also begun investing in the technology revolution.
The second of these investments has been made in Hazy – a software firm that anonymises datasets shared between businesses, helping to ensure GDPR compliance.
This follows its investment in Acasa which allows customers to organise and co-ordinate their bills and utility payments.
However, Wootton was more guarded on TMW’s plans for technology developments in the broker space.
Overall, Wootton is positive about the future for the limited company sector, but with industry data showing a slowdown in lending he admits it is increasingly important for lenders to get their pricing, criteria and service levels right.