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Close B2L range under fire

Close Mortgages has been slammed for underwhelming the market with the pricing of its buy-to-let range.

The criticism comes as the lender is rejigging its range in response to the stiff competition it faces.

One source tells Mortgage Strategy that the Close Brothers-owned specialist buy-to-let lender has been struggling as a result of its uncompetitive range and says its products have not been doing well since it was launched a year ago.

David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages for Business, agrees.

He says: “Neither Close Mortgages’ buy-to-let products nor its criteria are good enough. It doesn’t stand out in the market and needs to find new territory.

“Its pricing is thin, its range has underwhelmed the market and it has struggled to attract business.”

Close Mortgages denies its product range is unattractive and says it has met its targets for this year.

But John Taylor, chief operating off-icer at Close Mortgages, admits that competition in the market has been tough.

This has led to the revamp and the lender aims to launch new products in four to six weeks.

He says: “We launched a year ago with a 100% pay rate and now other len-ders have caught up. Most of them had 120% products or above at the time so 100% was our niche.

“Competitors look at what you’ve got and follow suit. But now we’re look- ing at revamping our product range to give us the edge again.”

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