Nationwide delays SVR rise for ex-BoI borrowers

Some 14,000 former Bank of Ireland customers who transferred to Nationwide last year have been given a lifeline after the mutual failed to hike its SVR from 2.99% to 4.79% in March as was widely expected.

In October 2011 BoI sold a £1.1bn mortgage book to Nationwide. A month later Mortgage Strategy revealed that borrowers transferring from BoI to The Mortgage Works as part of the loan book sell-off were facing an almost 2% rate hike.

When Nationwide announced the hike it said the lower rate would remain until March 2012, at which point it was expected to write to clients alerting them to the increase.

But a Nationwide spokeswoman says: “We reserve the right to increase the SVR, but the concession remains in place until further notice. We will write to clients when it is removed.”

The lender never confirmed whether the rate hike would happen in one go or in stages, but it is believed it has not yet written to customers to alert them of an imminent rise.

Aaron Strutt, head of communications at Trinity Financial Group, says: “News of the hike did not go down particularly well with customers and caused some negative press.
“Seeing as it told customers that their repayments are going to increase, it’s strange that it would change its mind.”

He adds: “I would expect it to still raise the rate, but at a later date.”

David Hollingworth, mortgage specialist at London & Country, says: “I expect a rate rise will still be on agenda but the delay may be down to Nationwide working out how best to implement it.”