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Controversial self-cert lender suspends lending

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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.

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  • Paul Adams 25th January 2016 at 12:53 pm

    This is utter nonsense. Out of curiosity I tried going on their website last Monday when they were supposedly launching. Website was down for 48 hours. A message came up with a freephone 0800 number. Line was dead. 24 hours later number worked but rang and rang until you are told their mailbox is full. Sent 2 email enquiries. No reply.Thursday the site is finally up and running and hey presto, they are closed for new business as have had 200 applications in!!!!? Impossible. No potential client would have been able to contact them to put in an application in the first place let alone 200!!. Total Monkeys……..

  • Nigel Bennett 22nd January 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Not a very plausible excuse really. I wonder if pressure is being applied on them behind the scenes?

  • Chris Hulme 22nd January 2016 at 11:08 am

    Well, if you’re going into a new market what better way to have your choice of who you lend to than to be over subscribed for funds by 1500%.

  • Andy Wilson 22nd January 2016 at 11:01 am

    I can’t help feeling this lender will come very unstuck at some point. Lending on a self-cert basis, one of the biggest contributors to mortgage fraud, arrears and repossessions in the UK in the past, has been properly outlawed to most and yet a simple foreign set up can get around every issue with the product? It can’t last, surely?

  • Tom Cleary 22nd January 2016 at 10:56 am

    Is there any proof of their claims they have been inundated with enquiries? By their own admission, they have not advertised this product, save for the trade press. Maybe all of their potential clients are hard pressed mortgage advisers?