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Swaps continued to fall last week. They have been declining for the best part of a month. It will be interesting to see what impact last week’s decision to hold base rates has. Hopefully swaps will continue to fall and this will result in some lower fixed rates soon.

One-year money is down 0.04% at 5.72%

Two-year money is down 0.05% at 5.60%

Three-year money is down 0.04% at 5.55%

Five-year money is down 0.03% at 5.43%

With the deadline for Treating Customers Fairly compliance looming, the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is doing a great job of communicating to brokers what we need to be aware of from the regulatory point of view. It also performs an important role in lobbying organisations such as the Financial Services Authority on our behalf.

And it offers an excellent economics factsheet if you want to impress your clients with some facts and figures.

Royal Bank of Scotland Intermediary Partners has arbitrarily decided that brokers can no longer instruct valuations.

RBSIP says it will instruct surveys once applications are received. Part of the email communicating this states: “This change is designed to streamline the offer process and deliver greater consistency of service to our customers.”

I can’t work this out. What could be quicker than allowing brokers to send in packaged applications so all RBSIP has to do is issue an offer? This doesn’t feel like much of a partnership at the moment.

I’m surprised at Nationwide which seems to think it is wrong of edeus to run an anti-branch campaign in the trade press but it’s fine to point out that Halifax has a different stance on higher lending charges in consumer press adverts. Why is Nationwide doing this? Is it short of business?

Principality had an excellent one-year fixed rate at 4.69% that it seemed to pull with no notice. I guess it was inundated with applications. It has also withdrawn its two-year fixed rate at 5.09%.

Edeus launched a good buy-to-let tracker at 5.99% for two years with a fee of 1.5% (minimum fee 899). The product has a 100% pay rate calculation and is available up to 90% LTV. To get a loan of 150,000, a rent of 748 a month is required. For a 100,000 loan, just 499 a month is needed. It even allows 10% capital repayments each year.

Coventry has revealed the name of its specialist lender – Godiva Mortgages. What a great name. I’m sure it has naked ambition for mortgages and if it is criticised, will turn the other cheek. (There are too many puns to include here.)

HBOS seems to have increased its overall group buy-to-let exposure from 5m to 10m without much fanfare. This is great news as while most of the individual brands have 5m limits it means that once this has been filled it is possible to look at other lenders within the group.

HBOS manages its brands well, with enough overlap for them to complement each other, but good enough rates and criteria to work as standalone lenders.

If you haven’t tried it recently, the service at The Mortgage Business is good. It seems a completely different lender from a couple of years ago.

Sadly its excellent 4.49% two-year tracker has been withdrawn but it has some good buy-to-let, self-cert and self build packages.

Saffron has launched a scorching five-year fixed rate at 5.29%. This is available to 95% LTV with a maximum loan of 300,000 and an arrangement fee of 649 which can be added to the loan. For remortgages, it even offers free legals and refunds valuation fees up to 500. I’m not sure how long this will be around for so grab it while you can.

Norwich and Peterborough has reduced its 10-year fixed rates. The rate without incentives is 5.31% with a 90% LTV and a 399 reservation fee. There is a 5.38% rate with a 475 reservation fee and free legals (or a 200 cashback) and free valuation.

Jonathan Cornell is technical director at Hamptons Mortgages


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