So this week, Mortgage Solutions is asking: ‘Have the lenders you choose to place business with broadened further since the pandemic? Or are you limiting yourself to a few lenders you really trust?’
Which lender we place business with is driven by who is most suitable for the client and will help them achieve their transactional goals.
Since the pandemic, lenders have become more conservative in their risk assessment and therefore we have seen a contraction in the products available on the market and a tightening in the eligibility criteria.
The main area of contraction has been on the higher loan to value (LTV) product selection. However, in the space of the last month we have seen a couple more lenders grow confidence to lend based on a 10 per cent deposit once again.
This is a good sign, and we hope that more lenders will follow suit in the coming months.
London Mortgage Solutions (LMS) has always placed the client’s best interest at the top of its priority list, which means not shying away from using lenders due to inexperience. No lender is ever overlooked if the product that they are offering is more cost effective for the client.
There is total confidence in the team’s ability to complete adequate research with the lender prior to making a recommendation. This has always been key to building confidence and is no different now.
It would be a disservice to deny any client a mortgage with the most suitable lender based on an individual perceived level of trust.
Due diligence carried out prior to placing business with a lender is and will always be vital for the team at LMS. We ask the right questions at the right time.
We’ve always endeavoured to use a wide and evolving range of lenders and have simply carried on with this approach.
We have established several new lender relationships during lockdown, mainly in the high net worth and expat space.
There are not necessarily any lenders I’m more confident using now, although some lenders have impressed more than others in how they’ve coped with lockdown.
I am not limiting myself to only lenders I trust, although we will certainly emphasise the importance of service when advising clients.
If they have a firm timeframe and we know there’s very little chance of a particular lender meeting it, we’ll have to advise it may not be the lender for them even if the rate and product look more attractive.
Without a shadow of a doubt there are lenders who have made it so hard for us to process cases, and to continue to recommend them, even if their products and criteria are, on the face of it, the most suitable.
Conversely, we understand that many lenders have stayed in the market with good rates and LTVs, trying to support both borrowers and brokers alike, and it is this group of innovative and robust lenders who should be supported rather than lambasted.
Of course we understand that it’s not just lenders who have suffered in service levels, the conveyancers have also been hit and recently we were quoted 16-20 weeks by a conveyancing firm for a limited company buy-to-let remortgage once a mortgage had been offered.
What the pandemic has highlighted are the poor plans that many organisations currently have in place around business interruption and resumption.
As an independent brokerage, we’re lucky to have access to the widest range of lenders, and so we can select the most appropriate lending solution for our clients, but right now this does mean many brokers are consciously overlooking certain banks and building societies who have caused clients anxiety.
We are also supporting the lenders who have shown their loyalty to us too, including a regional building society who not only continued to honour a 95 per cent LTV mortgage in the pipeline throughout the last few months for a first-time buyer, but also extended the offer when it expired, enabling a very worried and anxious young couple to realise their dreams.