Halifax’s SVR will increase from 3.50% to 3.99% on May 1, affecting some 850,000 customers.
Its SVR is now aligned with its homeowner variable rate, the reversion rate it introduced for new customers at the beginning of 2011.
The lender announced earlier this week it was increasing its SVR cap from 3% above base rate to 3.75% above base, and has today confirmed it will be increasing the SVR itself.
For a customer with a £100,000 mortgage balance and 15 years of the term remaining, the change will equate to a £24.30 increase in their monthly payment.
Halifax is offering affected borrowers a product transfer option of a fee-free two-year fix, which has a rate of 3.49% at 60% LTV and 3.74% at 75% LTV.
Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at John Charcol, says there are cheaper two-year fixes available in the market so this option would only appeal to those who are unable to remortgage elsewhere.
He says: “This represents a huge remortgage opportunity for brokers. The rate rise will be a big catalyst for Halifax borrowers to review their mortgage options, and a large proportion of the lender’s book will be up for grabs.”
Stephen Noakes, mortgage director at Halifax, says: “In light of market conditions, particularly ongoing higher funding costs, it has been necessary for us to review the Halifax SVR. At 3.99%, the rate more accurately reflects the cost of funding a mortgage, but it remains competitive for borrowers.”
In February 2011 Lloyds Banking Group paid £500m in compensation to 300,000 Halifax borrowers after admitting its contract was not clear when it increased its SVR cap from 2% above base to 3% in September 2008.