Santander should scrutinise its own staff and practices

I am experiencing an appalling situation with a hypocritical approach to underwriting being displayed by Santander.

I have clients who are purchasing a property that will become their home upon completion. The property is being let to tenants but will offer full vacant possession upon completion.

As the property is tenanted the Santander underwriters have decided that it will not lend as the borrowers could re-let the property themselves.
Surely this could be the issue with any property, whether it is being let or not.

I am appealing against this decision as the clients are offended, and rightly so.

I have been advised by Santander’s appeals department that it is investigating any instance where a property could be let as it is finding itself victim to many mortgages being used for the wrong purposes.

In itself this is serious enough, but I have another client who is genuinely looking to let their current property to enable them to take out a residential mortgage on a new home.

The case has been agreed by BM Solutions at a rate of 4.7% but I have just received a call from my clients requesting me to hold fire on the application as they have been into their local Santander branch where they bank, and been told by the mortgage adviser there to take out a Santander residential mortgage at 2.99% on the property.

The adviser says that in six months they should confess to Santander that they are no longer living at the property. Santander will then permit them to retain the rate as long as they pay a £199 administration fee.

I find myself in a position with Santander whereby a client wants to purchase their new home but has been refused as they may let the property, and another wishes to let their property but is advised by Santander to submit the mortgage as a residential transaction.
It seems to me that Santander should be looking at its own staff and business practices before accusing brokers and innocent members of the public of malpractice.

NEIL BARNES
SECURITY FINANCIAL SERVICES