Mortgages

Lenders make almost 1,000 criteria changes in response to Covid-19

Yesterday, Knowledge Bank launched its free Covid-19 criteria change tool.

Rozi Jones
|
20th March 2020
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"Information was being released at such a pace that it was immediately clear that we had to do something to help make lives easier both for brokers and lenders"

Knowledge Bank received 926 criteria updates from 91 lenders in the 48 hours after the government announced that all homeowners who need it can take a three month mortgage payment holiday.

Yesterday, Knowledge Bank launched its free Covid-19 criteria change tool, and 509 brokers have already signed up for the live feed.

The tool provides brokers with a single point of reference for every lender’s criteria, policy and processes relating to the Covid-19 situation.

It continues to be updated by lenders themselves, in real-time, as they release their criteria.

Knowledge Bank says that although some lender criteria changes were in response to the Covid-19 situation, others were the launch of new product ranges as lenders cost of funds rose overnight.

32 lenders have said that they will provide borrowers with a payment holiday but most require the borrower to phone the lender; some lenders have now set up dedicated telephone lines and numbers. Brokers will be able to access these numbers from the Knowledge Bank free ‘Covid-19 Live Feed’, although at the moment it is the borrower that needs to phone the lender, lenders are not permitting brokers to do it on their behalf – although this policy may change as time moves on. Knowledge Bank meanwhile is equipping brokers with the telephone numbers they need to give to their clients.

Five lenders have gone over and above this: Chorley Building Society and Nationwide have provided forms that brokers and borrowers can downloand and send back, while Coventry Building Society, Ipswich and Together are allowing customers to self-certify that they have been impacted by Covid-19 with no further validation required.

35 lenders were still formulating their policy as of yesterday, so more criteria updates are expected throughout the day. Responses from buy-to-let lenders are also being added throughout the day as these lenders decide what their policy and processes will be.

Brokers can get free access to the tool here

Nicola Firth, founder & CEO of Knowledge Bank, said: “In light of the different government announcement information was being released at such a pace that it was immediately clear that we had to do something to help make lives easier both for brokers and lenders, both of whom would be inundated with calls from borrowers. It’s at times like this that we all need to work together. This this live feed is a completely free to use tool for brokers and the industry to help deal efficiently with the understandable concerns from borrowers in these unprecedented times.

“We will work with the lenders over the coming days and weeks to constantly keep the live feed updated with each lender’s approach and criteria.”

Robert Sinclair, CEO of the AMI, commented: “In these difficult times the industry needs to support each other to ensure that we can provide information and comfort to the general public. Initiatives such as this which allow broker to be better informed and so help their customers are a great example of this industry at its best.”

 

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