Virgin Money, TSB and NatWest are the latest lenders to announce product changes today, according to brokers. Their thoughts on the notice being given are below.
Craig Fish, managing director at London-based mortgage broker Lodestone: “The carnage continues and is getting ridiculous. I’m currently on hold to NatWest — 30 minutes and counting — to discuss a possible new mortgage as they have just announced that they are withdrawing rates at 10.30pm tonight. Do the lenders think that the future is this uncertain? After all SWAP rates have started to come down again, so what is this all about really?”
Matthew Jackson, director of Salisbury-based mortgage broker, Mint FS: “48 hours notice used to the be the norm, then it moved to 24 hours and now it seems perfectly acceptable to all lenders to give little or no notice to brokers and their clients. These now make me laugh. Virgin close at 5pm but are happy for us to work until 8pm desperately trying to hit the deadline they have imposed to ensure that their future clients are treated fairly. Hardly a balanced relationship is it?”
Justin Moy, founder at Chelmsford-based mortgage broker, EHF Mortgages: “These last-minute communications just add to the stress of the situation. Decisions on rate changes and repricing must give everyone the opportunity to react in a controlled manner, especially when the increases are hefty and make a real difference to a borrower. On a £200,000 mortgage, a 0.5% change in rate is worth approximately £2,000 in interest over two years, and as brokers we want to do what’s right for borrowers and save them money. However, the need to react so quickly creates a difficult environment for everyone. More needs to be done by lenders to give sufficient notice to both clients and brokers. The regulator will need to look at this through the Consumer Duty lens, as it’s certainly not in the Public Duty.”
Anil Mistry, director at Leicester-based RNR Mortgage Solutions: “These brief and concise notifications regarding product withdrawals have become the prevailing standard in the mortgage industry, and it is imperative for us as brokers to embrace and acclimatise to this new reality. They signify the state of the current mortgage market and the inherent volatility of swap rates, which directly impact mortgage rates. Presently, I am only accepting a limited number of appointments, as this allows me ample time to diligently handle and submit applications.”