Controversial new lender selfcert.co.uk has suspended lending for three months, citing a “severe backlog” of consumer interest.
The lender launched on Monday, though its website crashed on Tuesday and has only relaunched today.
The new website says: “We have ceased taking new applications until further notice, this will be at least 3 months.
“We are currently working through a severe backlog of people that have registered an interest in these products.”
Selfcert.co.uk has bypassed an FCA ban on self-cert mortgages by setting up in Prague and using the ecommerce directive to write business in the UK.
It is offering a tracker loan set at 2 per cent above base rate and will lend up to £500,000 at 85 per cent loan-to-value with fees of around £600.
The selfcert.co.uk website apologises for the crash and blames “a few issues with the security certificate being granted”.
The website says: “Although we were expecting to go live on the 18th of January, we were never expecting the demand or avalanche of traffic that we received from the start. We have never advertised this product, we don’t appear in Google. We’ve turned down interviews and done everything we can to keep a low profile.
“In all honesty it caught us on the back foot a little. We would have preferred a slower start where we could have tested the process a little more but upon speaking to people and realising the situation some of them are in, trapped in expensive SVR’s. We understand why the demand is so incredibly high.
“As for new applications we are sorry to say that we can’t process any at the moment. We have around 4,700 more emails of potential applicants to get through before we can even get up to date. With only enough funds available for 250-300 average sized mortgages. We are well beyond anything we can cope with.”
The start-up is backed by private equity investors and is based in the Czech Republic.
Self-cert mortgages, where borrowers do not have to prove their income, were hugely popular in the UK in the early 2000s but were banned by the FSA in its Mortgage Market Review after many consumers were encouraged to lie about their wages.