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Swaps increased slightly last week. Initially they dropped but after the inflation figure was released they went up along with three-month LIBOR. Three-month LIBOR is up 0.02% at 0.91%.
1-year money is up 0.02% at 0.96%
2-year money is up 0.03% at 1.25%
3-year money is up 0.02% at 1.35%
5-year money is down 0.03% at 1.70%

Well done to Abbey for Intermediaries for revamping its website to make it easier for brokers to do business with it. I like the service update page but some of the key indicators of service speed could be shown on the homepage.

It’s a shame the service page does not show its performance against targets, but 3.6 days from agreeing a case to receiving a survey and 11.1 days to issue an offer is good when you consider how great Abbey’s rates are.

Santander has just issued a securitisation of £2.5bn. This is good news as it shows investors are happy to buy UK securitised mortgages, admittedly at a low LTV.

NatWest has repriced its ranges, keeping its portfolio rather small compared with other lenders. With 10 core residential rates, eight core buy-to-let rates and 12 corporate rates, there isn’t much choice.

The lowest core two-year fixed rate at 3.19% for loans up to 75% LTV with a £999 fee isn’t setting the best buy tables alight.

Accord Mortgages has reduced some of its fixed rates. The lowest two-year fix is 2.34% with a £1,995 fee for loans up to 75% LTV. Its lowest three-year fix at 75% LTV with a £1,995 fee is 3.04% and its lowest five-year fix at 75% LTV with a £1,995 fee is 3.39%.

Precise Mortgages has reduced its near-prime rates. It’s two-year fixed rate starts at 5.24% for loans up to 70% LTV with fees of £1,995.
With high street lenders so picky about which borrowers they give mortgages to I am sure Precise and other specialist lenders are as busy as they want to be.

Aviva is launching a series of television advertisements showing how customers can benefit from income protection.

The mortgage industry has come a long way with selling protection. Many potential clients will have been affected by payment protection insurance policies so it’s important that we continue to educate them on the need for protection.

It was interesting reading the online comments about the Financial Services Authority prosecuting our industry’s miscreants. Some brokers query why someone being struck off is news.

But the FSA is in a difficult position. It needs to show it means business so it will announce every single enforcement action it takes against the bad apples.

It is sending a crucial message that brokers cannot get away with breaking the rules. This cleansing is a painful process as every bad news story about a broker erodes the public’s faith in us.


Hero of the week
is Mortgage Strategy magazine, which last week celebrated 10 years as the first, and currently only, weekly trade magazine for the mortgage industry. To the whole team, Happy Birthday.

Villain of the week
is the Advertising Standards Authority, which has rejected complaints that Money Advice Service’s advertisements were misleading as it does not give advice. Information is information, advice is advice.




£65,924 The average cost of a deposit for a first-time buyer in 2011, a 1,000% rise on 1990 when it was £6,793, says First Direct. 363 The number of pages in the Independent Commission on Banking’s final report by Sir John Vickers published last week . 77,000 The rise in number of jobless 18 to […]


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