Saffron’s new range is welcomed by brokers

Brokers have welcomed Saffron Building Society’s decision last week to launch a new dedicated intermediary channel as well as a range of products designed to help borrowers with unique situations who won’t get a mortgage on the high-street.

The new channel has been branded Saffron for Intermediaries and it is expected to account for around 90 per cent of the building society’s mortgage business in 2013.

Saffron is also looking to launch an intermediary website in May which will allow brokers to track cases online and receive updates from the lender.

Saffron Building Society chief executive Jon Hall says: “We don’t want to simply pay lip service to brokers, we want to show them we mean business. Saffron for Intermediaries isn’t just a new brand, it also represents a new way of dealing with broker introduced business.”

Saffron’s new product range, called special situations, includes mortgages for the self-employed, buy-to-let investors, buy-to-let refurbishment products, self-builders and for those who want to repair their credit record.

For example, its self-employed mortgage is available from 4.99 per cent, up to 75 per cent loan-to-value, and up to a maximum LTV of 80 per cent.

Borrowers need only supply one year’s accounts and the building society will accept interest-only cases up to 75 per cent on a case-by-case basis.

Saffron has also launched a credit repair mortgage where the rate steps down each year for three years before reverting to SVR and there are no early repayment charges.

The building society will allow borrowers with up to £1,000 in county court judgements/defaults in the 24 months before the application, with any before that being ignored.

Borrowers are allowed two instances of mortgage arrears in the past 36 months but none in the past 12 months.

For example, the building society has a three-year product available up to 80 per cent LTV where borrowers are allowed up to £250 in CCJs/Defaults in the previous 24 months.

In the first year borrowers are charged a rate 5.99 per cent, which falls to 5.79 per cent in the second year and 5.59 per cent in the third year, before reverting to its SVR, which is 5.39 per cent.

Riach Independent Financial Advisers broker Bob Riach says: “This could help borrowers with unique situations get onto the property market and may help some move home.”

And broker Jonathan Burridge said it was a sign of sensible lending for sensible customers.

He says: “If only more of the market would take this positive and progressive stance. More of the mutuals should be in this arena rather than fighting for scraps in the 60 per cent LTV market place.”