C&G embraces sub-prime

Cheltenham and Gloucester has ploughed full steam ahead into the sub-prime mortgage market despite brokers\' concerns about a decline in its service.

As Mortgage Strategy Online exclusively revealed last Tuesday, C&G has unveiled its inaugural range of near prime and light adv-erse loans including a choice of fixed rate and tracker deals available at between 75% and 80% LTV.

It has also pledged to lend at 100% LTV for borrowers lacking at least a 5% deposit.

The products, which are an extension of its previous specialist lines such as buy-to-let, will be available to brokers through C&G for Intermediaries, the lender’s new dedicated introducer arm.

But concerns remain as brokers continue to slam C&G’s alleged declining service standards.

One broker source says: “Its administration over the past 12 months has gone from being the best in the industry to the worst.”

The source makes the point following C&G’s decision to leave two two-year and five-year fixed rate deals on the market earlier in 2007.

Mark Blackwell, newly app-ointed head of corporate and specialist intermediary sales at C&G, says: “I don’t think we got it wrong. We went out with great products and now we’ve got to service them. Service hasn’t been up to scratch and we’ve got to put that right.

“What we have seen is a minimal drop-off which I think is a great credit to intermediaries who have kept the confidence of their clients as well as their confidence in our proposition.”

Blackwell says C&G’s mortgage application cancellations have in-creased to between 15% and 20%, up from its normal drop-off range of between 10% and 15%.

He will now focus on developing C&G’s 20 corporate partnerships with firms including Network Data, Positive Solutions and Sesame.

Blackwell says: “It’s also about looking at other areas. We need to talk about exclusive sets of products for certain distributors.”

He says C&G for Intermediaries will launch its own online trading platform in the next few months.

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