Abbey to include birthdays and Christmas in affordability checks

Abbey for Intermediaries will now require customers to account for one-off costs such as Christmas in their expenditure assessments.

The lender has changed its expenditure assessment to require all customers to fill out regular and non-regular monthly costs.

Examples given of regular expenditure include utilities, council tax and clothing, while non-regular expenditure covers religious festivals, birthdays, holidays and miscellaneous goods and services.

Abbey says that realistic information must be entered into these boxes and that entering zeros in these fields will lead to a decline decision.

Previously, Abbey would use Office for National Statistics data to obtain an average expenditure for a customer.

The new policy is also in place for Santander’s direct brand.

Abbey is also requiring brokers to submit more information up front, including details of private sales and deposits, which it says will allow it to process cases faster by reducing the number of cases it pends for outstanding information.