Several lenders tightened up their criteria significantly in the run-up to the MMR. Are we seeing some lenders relax their criteria now we’re nearly five months into the new regime?
I do not believe that we are seeing any relaxation of lenders criteria. MMR set out some clear guidelines and I do not see that they were in put in place to be relaxed further down the line. What is interesting is that some lenders will ask for full disclosure of outgoings such as food, travel, childcare and pension contribution costs whereas other lenders will work off of ONS figures. The way in which lenders have perceived MMR and implemented their criteria has ensured variety and has ensured we do not work in a boring market where each lenders criteria is a clone of another’s. Lenders who are willing to be innovative whilst remaining compliant with MMR and providing responsible lending are key to ensuring a broker can add value to the client through knowledge of how lenders assess applications.
The Government recently announced the shock regulation of “accidental landlords” – is this a precursor for regulation of the whole sector?
I do believe that the whole sector will become regulated and I think that is only a good thing. We all know a mortgage is the biggest commitment most of us make in terms of borrowing and I don’t see that it should be any different whether the loan is secured on your home or an investment property (someone else’s place to call home). Sensible regulation that does not restrict the market can only be a good thing for the consumer and the market as a whole.
Lenders are using rates to attract new business in the residential space but last week Skipton and Leeds raised their proc fees for buy-to-let business. Do you expect more smaller lenders to follow suit?
I think it all depends on the lenders business model. I understand why lenders would look to offer higher procurement fees to brokers for buy-to-let mortgages as well as residential mortgages simply because the only cost to a lender in lending those funds is the procurement fee and the cost of support staff/underwriting staff that process the mortgage through to completion. By using a broker a lender negates the cost of training a Branch adviser and the cost of their salary and furthermore it is a quick route to market. Quality brokers provide quality business and it is only right this should be recognised.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I can do a mean robot, it usually makes an appearance at wedding disco’s.
What was the last book you read?
Alex Fergusons autobiography. My mother in law to be brought it for me for Xmas. I had to read it.
What is your favourite movie and why?
Last of the Mohicans. Best ever musical score to a film, amazing fight scenes and a bit of a love story thrown in for good measure.