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S&P lowers A&L credit rating

Standard & Poor’s has lowered Alliance & Leicester’s long-term credit rating from A+ to A. But the credit rating agency insists that recent changes to the bank’s funding mix mean its outlook remains stable. S&P has removed the bank from its CreditWatch, where its long-term rating had been placed with negative implications on January 31.

Nick Hill, credit analyst at S&P, says: “This rating action follows A&L’s full-year results for 2007 and its outlook for 2008. As a result of difficult funding conditions, it has taken out various secured borrowing facilities with a range of banks.”

S&P describes the bank as prudent for bolstering its liquidity and funding profile while reducing its reliance on short-term funding. It adds that A&L’s new funding arrangements, diversity and strong asset quality should support its A rating. But it warns that A&L’s rating could fall further if the housing market or the wider UK economy weakens this year.


Pressure to axe ERCs for long-term deals

The government is urging lenders to consider alternatives to early repayment charges to encourage the take-up of long-term fixed rate deals.A Treasury report unveiled in last week’s Budget, entitled Housing finance review: analysis and proposals, blames ERCs for low consumer demand for long-term products.It states: “Lenders have scope to manage the pre-payment risks associated with […]

Griffiths sounds warning

Network Data’s third annual conference kicked off in Birmingham last week with Richard Griffiths, chief executive of Network Data Holdings, admitting that the company had faced big challenges in 2007.He told delegates: “At last year’s conference I started my speech by saying that 2006 had been a successful year for us.“But 2007 saw unprecedented challenges […]

Arrears shoot up by 35% in first two months of 2008

Citizens Advice Bureaux says mortgage arrears have shot up by 35% in the first two months of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.It says its latest research shows that more people are seeking help because they are having problems paying their essential household bills, such as gas and electricity, water, telephone and Council […]

Crisis will leave UK brokers £625m worse off

Edeus’ managing director Alan Cleary has warned that the ongoing liquidity crisis could wipe £625m off the total income potential for advisers in the UK mortgage market.


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