West Brom to hike rates for 6,700 B2L tracker customers

West Bromwich Building Society has told 6,700 of its buy-to-let tracker customers that their rates will increase by 2 percentage points on 1 December.

All of the borrowers have mortgage accounts with West Bromwich Mortgage Company, its now closed specialist lending arm and are landlords with multiple properties.

The affected borrowers are on a variety of different rates but all will see a 2 per cent increase in December.

The building society says it has increased the trackers as a result of “market conditions” and that the change is allowed as part of the mortgage contract.

A spokesman for the building society says: “These changes, which are permitted under the terms and conditions of the accounts, are a reflection of market conditions and the need for us to carry out our business prudently, efficiently and competitively.”

West Brom’s move follows that of Bank of Ireland, which on 1 May increased its tracker mortgage rate for 13,500 borrowers. The rate rose from base rate plus 1.75 per cent to base rate plus 4.49 per cent for buy-to-let deals and base plus 2.49 per cent for residential.

From 1 October, it will rise again for residential borrowers to base plus 3.99 per cent. The bank says it is due to higher capital requirements.

However, in late May Bank of Ireland reversed its hike for 1,000 flexible accounts customers and 200 more who had switched to a tracker mortgage.

Last month, the Financial Ombudsman told Money Marketing it had received more than 300 complaints about BoI’s tracker mortgage rate increase.

More than 300 BoI borrowers are planning a class action against the bank, claiming the increase is based on an unfair contract term.