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L&G partners with BuildLoan

Legal & General mortgage club has added BuildLoan to its panel, offering members access to self-build and renovation finance.

BuildLoan, the broker arm of BuildStore, is a self-build and renovation funding expert, and offers the provision of releasing stage payments in advance during a project.

Advisers using BuildLoan through the mortgage club will get leading procuration fees, paid on exchange of contracts.

Ben Thompson, director of mortgages at Legal & General, says: “With the housing market as flat as a pancake, there is a demand out there from clients who want their own ‘Grand Design’.

“We’re therefore adding a new dimension to the mortgage club by partnering with BuildLoan and creating a new potential revenue stream for advisers. It is another string to our bow and we’ll keep on adding value to the club offering.

“Advisers will benefit from proc fees on exchange, which are better than that on offer if approaching BuildLoan direct. The importance of certainty and timeliness on payment of fees cannot be underestimated in this market.”

Raymond Connor, chief executive of Buildstore, says: “The key to a successful project is cashflow – getting money at the right time to pay bills and keep the build progressing. However, many intermediaries are unaware of the importance of this when advising on self-build mortgages.

“At BuildLoan we help the intermediary identify the client’s cash requirements during a project and our advance stage payment scheme can keep their client cash positive during the build”


HBOS losses sink Lloyds’ shares

Lloyds Banking Group saw its share price go into freefall on Friday after revealing staggering losses of £10bn for HBOS in 2008.

Surveyor transaction figures remain stable

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has revealed that in the past three months the average number of transactions per surveyor showed little change despite buyer interest rising for the third successive month.

Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.


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