Don’t give up on remortgages

Brokers should not be discouraged by falling remortgage approvals because busi- ness may be placed at a later stage, says Alexander Hall.

Andy Pratt, chief operating officer at Alexander Hall, says: “There are a lot of customers who want and need to remortgage but can’t get deals. Brokers are contacting their clients to find they no longer meet criteria and have to go onto lenders’ SVRs.

“When this happens, brokers must not take the lazy approach and give up but instead should stay in touch with customers in the hope of transferring them onto better rates when these be-come available.”

The comments follow last week’s release of Bank of England statistics on lending to individuals which showed that remortgage approvals plummeted from £10.9bn in June to £9.5bn in July. This equates to 11,000 fewer remortgage approvals in July.

Pratt adds: “These figures are a worry.

“Although we all know the purchase market is suffering, falling remortgage levels could be of concern to brokers who have adopted the strategy of relying on remortgaging activity to keep them going.”

But Bob Riach, proprietor of Riach IFAs, says: “We have done more re-mortgage business in the past few months than we did in the same period last year and I believe business is going to increase further. We diarise when clients are due to come off their deals and contact them two or three months before their rates end.

“We are also getting a lot of remortgage enquiries from online leads as an increasing number of home owners become aware they don’t have to stay with their existing lenders.”