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NatWest’s NewBuy cold shoulder upsets brokers

Brokers have slammed NatWest for being the only lender not to offer its NewBuy Guarantee scheme products via intermediaries.

Last week NatWest, Nationwide and Barclays all launched 95% LTV deals under the scheme, which is supported by a mortgage indemnity guarantee funded jointly by house builders and the government.

Nationwide is initially offering its products via brokers but will launch them direct in future. And Barclays is using both channels.

But NatWest is only offering its products direct and says that it has no plans to offer them through intermediaries.

Santander and Halifax have also confirmed that they will launch NewBuy deals in the coming months. Santander says it plans to offer them via brokers only, while Halifax will use both channels.

Among the deals launched last week are a two-year fix at 4.29% with a £499 fee from NatWest, a two-year fix at 4.99% with a £499 fee from Barclays and a three-year fix at 5.69% with a £999 fee from Nationwide.

David Hollingworth, mortgage specialist at London & Country, says it is disappointing that NatWest has excluded brokers, especially as its rate is the most competitive.

He says: “This will have a significant impact on how much NewBuy business brokers can do, particularly when there are only three lenders offering products.”
Andrew Frankish, commercial director at Mortgage Talk, says NatWest’s decision is frustrating for brokers.

He adds: “I am also worried that the direct channel is not the best way to distribute this product as advising on new-build property is a specialist area and I’m not convinced a call centre could provide adequate service.”

HSBC and Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks also signed up to the NewBuy scheme when it was first announced in the government’s housing strategy in November 2011.

But both have told Mortgage Strategy that they have no plans to launch any products.

A spokeswoman for the Council of Mortgage Lenders says it is too early to say whether other lenders will launch deals under the scheme, but confirms that it has received interest from other firms.

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