United Trust Bank launches interest-only residential range
The range is available up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV) or 70 per cent LTV for downsizing and affordability will be based on the interest-only monthly repayment.
Two- and five-year fixed rates are available with no early repayment option and multiple repayment vehicles will be accepted.
There is no minimum credit score for the products. UTB will also be flexible towards different property construction types.
Buster Tolfree (pictured), commercial director – mortgages at United Trust Bank, said: “Within this interest-only residential mortgage product range, we believe we’ve created a compelling offer for those borrowers who may not fit the strict tick-box approach of many mainstream lenders.
“Our common sense underwriting approach, pragmatic and rounded way of assessing borrower profiles and their security properties has made UTB an increasingly popular choice amongst specialist mortgage intermediaries and given additional options to those who may have found their choice of lenders somewhat restricted of late.”
Loans Warehouse launches into regulated bridging
It comes as part of the firm’s expansion, which has seen it move from a primarily second charge specialist into other sectors including unregulated bridging.
The broker said the ability to operate in the regulated bridging market would allow it to further increase its product range.
Loans Warehouse co-founder Matt Tristram (pictured) said: “As a business, we have been diversifying our offering over the past few years as we look to build on our core proposition whilst meeting increased consumer demand for other products.
“We’ve made no secret of our intention to secure regulated bridging authorisation, having spoken about it since the start of 2019, and the time provided by lockdown and the resulting slowdown in lending has allowed us to meet that goal.
“We’ve moved into several new sectors over the past 18 months and the move into regulated bridging is just another example of our commitment to our customers and the industry during this difficult time.”
Despite bridging volumes falling by more than half in the second quarter of 2020 and by 45 per cent over the first half of 2020, as reported by the MTF index last week, Tristram said the market was showing positive signs of recovery already.
“Lockdown and the restrictions on physical valuations especially made the market almost impossible to lend for all but a handful of lenders but with house prices and demand remaining strong as we enter Q3 we are already seeing much stronger results,” he continued.
“Throughout this time one of the most prominent lenders and supporters of the broker market has been United Trust Bank.
“We’re delighted to announce them as the first addition to our regulated bridging panel,” he added.
UTB commercial director for bridging Gavin Diamond said: “Loans Warehouse has built an excellent reputation as leading introducers in the secured loans and unregulated bridging market and I’m delighted that we’re now able to be the first to work with them directly on regulated bridging too.
“They’ve been one of the most proactive brokers during the pandemic, which has strengthened our relationship even further.
“We look forward to working closely with them to provide quick, competitive, and flexible regulated bridging solutions.”
UTB and Freedom Finance finalise offer using messenger app
The system eliminates the need for email and post as it allows brokers and lenders to digitally transfer and share customer documents and evidence such as biometric ID results, E-signed agreements, payslips and bank statements.
The instant messenger service also allows information to be exchanged immediately and shared with the customer throughout the course of a loan application.
The B2B Digital Messenger App was developed as a result of Nivo’s recently formed Second Charge Lenders Technology Steering Committee of which United Trust Bank, Freedom Finance and other second charge lenders and brokers are participants.
Buster Tolfree, commercial director – mortgages at United Trust Bank, said: “It is important for UTB and the second charge industry that we continue to create quicker, smarter and more secure means of processing applications and delivering great customer outcomes.”
Josh Bowe, head of digital operations at Freedom Finance, added: “We are delighted to partner with United Trust Bank on this initiative.
“We have already built a very strong partnership with UTB, but this innovative process further enhances our relationship as it enables faster and smoother underwriting across both businesses while improving our customers’ experience.”
UTB unveils dedicated contractor criteria and near prime second charge deal
It has also added a webchat facility to support broker queries and clarified case packaging guidelines.
The specific professional contractor mortgage criteria applies to those working in industries such as IT, healthcare, business management and other sectors where six, 12, and 18-month contracts are common.
Previously these were included within self-employed criteria but UTB said it expects this move will give brokers more clarity when advising professional contractors.
A minimum 12-month contract history with at least one renewal is required, along with 24 months in a similar role and if less than three months remain on the current contract, evidence of a renewal must be provided and signed by both parties.
Gross annual income will now be calculated at the day rate, times five days, times 48 weeks.
The latest three months’ bank statements, plus other documents depending on the source of income, will be required for proof of income.
The criteria is available across all existing residential mortgage and second charge plans.
UTB’s limited edition near prime second charge product is for customers with historic unsecured missed payments providing that the debts concerned are consolidated in the new loan.
The lender is removing all caps on the adverse unsecured credit available on its second charge, one and two status products.
“We will now ignore the payment profile on all unsecured credit items entirely, providing they are being consolidated with our loan, a reasonable explanation is received during the underwriting process, and there is no recent pay day loans,” the lender said.
The status two product, which allows the greatest credit forbearance, will permit two mortgage arrears in the last 12 months with a maximum of two outstanding, and two defaults or county court judgements in the last year with no maximum number more than a year ago, providing the total is less than £15,000.
The webchat facility has gone live on the broker portal.
This will allow any registered mortgage brokers to submit new enquiries to the bank online in real-time with immediate access to mandated underwriters.
The system also enables brokers to discuss existing cases and supply information to UTB which would usually be passed by phone or email.
The lender has urged brokers to separate documents when scanning them for underwriting, especially given many of its staff continue working from home.
However, where this is not possible it is urging brokers to scan documents in three groups – customer documents including the application, income documents, and property documents.
Sales director for property intermediaries Mike Walters (pictured) said the changes were part of the UTB’s summer-long programme.
“The increase of our maximum loan to value for self-employed applicants certainly caused a stir in the marketplace and we’re hoping that these latest criteria and technology enhancements will be equally well received,” he said.
“Our aim is to help our broker partners write more business and make it easier for them to process applications with UTB.”
He added: “Brokers are vital to the growth and success of the specialist mortgage market and we will do all we can to support them as they try to turn around a very challenging year.”
UTB appoints pair as Hope Capital begins recruitment drive
Hardeep Thandi (pictured) is joining the lender as director of property development UTB.
He was previously with Aldermore and has more than 14 years of property development, commercial and corporate banking experience.
He will be predominantly responsible for promoting the development finance offering to SME house builders, developers, property investors and specialist introducers across the Midlands, Yorkshire, Humber and the North East.
Thandi will work closely with Huw Jenkins who is based in the North West and between them they will cover the North of England, the lender said.
Martin Nield is also joining as a manager and will be based in London supporting senior managers Phil Bird and Rob Syrett in servicing their existing client base and growing their development finance portfolio.
He has come through the NACFB apprenticeship scheme and has experience in lender and broker roles.
UTB senior director – property development Adam Bovingdon said the lender had increased its presence in the North of England and London where it saw considerable potential.
“Hardeep and Martin bring experience and enthusiasm to the team and they share our commitment to supporting SME house builders and developers,” he said.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the UK’s economic landscape, but housing remains a key issue with hundreds of thousands of new homes needed each year to meet existing demand.
“SME house builders can have a significant part to play in the delivery of those new homes and we are keen to provide the funding to enable them to seize opportunities and keep building,” he added.
Hope Capital hiring
Meanwhile, Hope Capital has announced it is recruiting for roles across the business as it expects a post-lockdown growth in enquiries to continue.
Among the roles it will be recruiting for are business development managers, underwriters and portfolio case managers.
The lender added that it also expects to appoint more internal sales and administrative support staff to back up the growth in external-facing roles.
It said it was anticipating further growth as new funding lines became available and this will enable it to offer a wider range of loans to a more diverse customer base.
Gary Bailey, managing director of Hope Capital, said the lender had bounced back strongly from the Covid-19 lockdown, with a surge in enquiries.
“We are confident this sustainable growth strategy is set to continue,” Bailey said, “ and we are now looking to bring more high-calibre people into the team”.
UTB reintroduces additional income consideration as part of support package
The move is part of its series of product, criteria and technology enhancements which will be unveiled during the summer.
It began last week by increasing the maximum loan to value (LTV) available to self-employed applicants from 65 per cent to 75 per cent on its entire range of residential first and second charge mortgage products.
This latest move includes half of all regular income including bonus, overtime and commission payments providing the additional income has been consistent over the lockdown period and previously.
It also applies to all residential mortgage and second charge products but existing restrictions continue to apply for those working within the travel, leisure and entertainment industries.
For guaranteed income such as basic or car allowance the latest two months’ payslips are required.
For regular income such as bonus, overtime and commission, the latest three months’ payslips and latest P60 showing sustainability of income over the period including during lockdown are needed..
Further changes coming
UTB will regularly announce additional elements of the Broker Summer Support Package campaign from now until September.
Buster Tolfree, commercial director for mortgages, (pictured) said it had been a difficult year for brokers and lenders.
“We want to help our broker and business partners by implementing a number of positive changes which will increase the range of options available to their clients as well as make it easier for brokers to process applications with UTB,” he said.
“We will be expanding our proposition and giving brokers greater choice while still lending responsibly.
“UTB has continued to lend throughout the pandemic and we understand the vital role brokers play in the specialist mortgage market.”
He added that by developing the range it could “help brokers place more cases, help more customers and rebuild their businesses.”
UTB increases LTVs for self-employed borrowers
The change applies to all residential mortgage and second charge products.
However, existing restrictions continue to apply for those working within the travel, leisure and entertainment industries.
UTB may also require three months’, rather than one month, business bank statements during underwriting to evidence affordability and sustainability.
All other proof of income requirements remain the same.
Specialist Lending Solutions understands that UTB is likely to be making further changes to its proposition shortly.
United Trust Bank commercial director – mortgages Buster Tolfree (pictured) said: “Brokers have had it tough and we recognise the need to support them through these challenging times.
“This is the first of a raft of mortgage product, criteria and technology enhancements UTB will be implementing throughout the summer, all aimed at helping brokers to write more business.
“Watch this space for the official launch of our summer campaign next week.”
Impact and UTB combine on £450k downsizing bridge for older borrowers
The facility was used to help a couple in their 70s to secure the purchase of a new residential property after their sale ran into difficulty.
The purchase price of the new property was £525,000, with the existing property valued at £850,000.
The couple financed the acquisition through a 12-month regulated bridge with full interest roll up with no payments due and interest paid on redemption for £450,000, with the balance made up from cash savings.
An automated valuation model (AVM) was used as part of the underwriting.
Impact said the case highlighted the value of short-term lending’s flexible funding options which could support borrowers with a wide range of property requirements.
Managing director Dale Jannels (pictured) noted that while it may not be a huge case in terms of value, it does demonstrate just how quickly funds can be raised in the current climate.
“This is an increasing scenario in the current climates as chain reliant transactions falter, due to many unforeseen reasons,” he added.
UTB sales director – property intermediaries Mike Walters said: “We’ve built a strong relationship with Impact Specialist Finance and the smooth and successful completion of this case is testament to the hard work put in by both sides.
“We enjoy working with experienced, professional advisers who understand the versatility of short-term finance and are committed to finding the best solutions for their clients.”
United Trust Bank advances £10.9m investment facility in lockdown
Property investment business and landlord, Rosewall Properties Limited had completed a development of 45 new apartments in London at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak.
The firm was at risk of an open-ended delay to the letting process and income generation.
Rosewall Properties approached UTB’s structured finance division to refinance an existing development loan on to a longer-term investment facility and release equity from the company’s latest project back into new commercial investment opportunities.
The lender completed a flexible hybrid solution amid challenges from the coronavirus to give the customer additional breathing space to find tenants and an interest rate that reduces when the apartments are let and income is generated.
UTB’s structured finance division has completed in the region of £40m of loans to support new and existing customers with similar requirements since the lockdown began.
Lahrie Mohamed, director of Rosewall Properties Limited, said: “The timing of the pandemic lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for us.
“We are an agile and innovative company, so the situation didn’t slow us down too much.
“The hardest thing was trying to find a lender with the same attributes.
“The uncertain climate and challenging operational conditions saw lenders drop like flies and the marketplace for refinancing shrank overnight.
“Fortunately, Gerard and the team at UTB take a different approach.”
“In these uncertain times it’s refreshing to find a lender willing to go the extra mile and deliver on its promises.”
Gerard Morgan Jackson, head of UTB’s structured finance division (pictured), added: “With the current situation creating a host of problems for lenders and borrowers alike, it would be easy to put things on hold or use the current circumstances as a reason to delay completions until the future is clearer.
“Rather than follow the herd, we chose to back our client and to complete a substantial investment facility for them, working through issues created by the pandemic.
“There are few lenders that would take on a newly completed development on a five-year investment basis in the current climate.
“In this instance, we quickly got to know the business and we took great comfort in Rosewall Properties’ excellent track record and abilities.”
OMS secures DIP integration with United Trust Bank
OMS users will now gain access to UTB’s products through a two-way integration which allows brokers and networks to generate a decision in principle (DIP), without rekeying data.
The second phase will see access widened to packagers.
This follows the platform’s recent announcement to offer free access to Knowledge Bank with every OMS license, the development of an API integration with the Iress Lender Connect software and its partnership with Uinsure.
Neal Jannels (pictured), managing director of One Mortgage System (OMS), said: “It’s important for us to partner with lenders who have technology at the heart of their offering and this stage one integration will pave the way for more brokers and networks to access UTB’s comprehensive product range and bespoke service standards.”
Buster Tolfree, commercial director of mortgages at United Trust Bank, added: “At UTB we have made real efforts over the last two years to introduce technology to speed up the application and underwriting process for our introducers.
“Integrating with OMS is an important step forward given they too have emerged as one of the premier broker CRM and processing platforms over recent years.
“Through API integration we now make it easier for all those users of OMS to select a UTB product for their customers, and to then process that application,” he added.