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RBS to offer NewBuy products through brokers

Royal Bank of Scotland is planning to offer NewBuy products through intermediaries for the first time, with experts predicting that NewBuy applications could hit the 10,000 mark in 2013.

At launch, in March 2012, Nationwide, Barclays, and NatWest – a subsidiary of RBS – signed up to the scheme, with Halifax, Santander and Aldermore signing up in April, May and September, respectively. However, NatWest was the only lender not to offer its products through intermediaries.

But a NatWest spokesman confirmed to Mortgage Strategy that it plans to offer NewBuy products through intermediaries, although no date has been decided as yet.

He says: “We are working with all parties to extend our current distribution model.”

It is not yet known if brokers will offer the same products it currently offers to direct customers and if it will choose a select number of broker partners through which to distribute its NewBuy products.

Presently, RBS, through its NatWest brand, currently offers two NewBuy products, a 4.49 per cent two-year fixed rate and a 4.79 per cent five-year fixed rate, neither of which have a product fee.

Mortgage Advice Bureau new homes director Andy Frankish says: “RBS has obviously got slightly different lending criteria so when we are talking to customers, whether it is about affordability or income, to have a lender of the scope of RBS means we will definitely be able to more cases through this scheme.”

Legal & General Mortgage Club managing director Ben Thompson says: “Although success has been modest, in terms of the overall initiative, the market would very definitely welcome the addition of RBS’ intermediary arm, NatWest Intermediary Solutions. Competition is very welcome.”

Under NewBuy, lenders offer borrowers 95 per cent loan-to-value mortgages for new-build properties against a mortgage indemnity guarantee funded jointly by house builders and the Government.

Developers put 3.5 per cent of the value of every NewBuy home sold into a collective pot that is used to protect the lender in the event of a default. The Government has guaranteed the scheme in the event of the pot of funds from home builders not being large enough to cover a lender’s losses.

The scheme has the capacity to help around 100,000 borrowers get onto the housing ladder but this is not seen as a target, just the scheme’s overall capacity.

In this week’s Economic Tracker on page 22 Nationwide’s head of mortgage strategy and policy Andrew Baddeley-Chappell says NewBuy appears on track to support the sale of 10,000 properties a year.

Other commentators have suggested the scheme will have helped around 25,000 to 30,000 borrowers purchase a home when the scheme comes to an end in 2015.

At the end of January some 3,000 people had reserved properties through the scheme, according to figures from the Home Builders Federation.


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