Self-cert mortgages return as new lender opens

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The return of controversial self-certification mortgages has been confirmed with launch of selfcert.co.uk today.

The start-up, backed by private equity investors and based in the Czech Republic, launches with a tracker loan set at 2 per cent above base rate, the Sunday Times reports.

Selfcert.co.uk will lend up to £500,000 at 85 per cent loan-to-value with fees expected to be around £600.

Self-cert mortgages, where borrowers do not have to prove their income, were hugely popular up until they were banned by the Mortgage Market Review.

The ban is still in place for FCA-regulated lenders but selfcert.co.uk owner Graeme Wingate, founder of unsecured lender Quick Loans, got round the rules by setting up in Prague.

The firm will check affordability using social media accounts to analyse lifestyle habits while customer invoices will be accepted as proof of income.

Wingate says: “We hope to do all the paperwork in-house, which means we can do it for much less than high street lenders.”

He adds: “We had emails of support from around the UK. We have an unofficial waiting list of about 80 people. There are lots of wealthy people who just don’t fit banks’ criteria and are being punished with high rates.”

Wingate also reveals he is launching crowdfunding site, genesis.co.uk, which will offer mortgage products later this year.