Foundation Home Loans announce raft of two-year buy-to-let price cuts

Foundation Home Loans, the intermediary-only specialist lender, has today announced a raft of price cuts across its range of two-year buy-to-let fixed-rate products.

The new products are available with immediate effect and include cuts of up to 45 basis points for portfolio landlords, limited company clients and landlords purchasing or refinancing specialist properties including HMOs and MUBs. There are also significant rate cuts in Foundation’s range for those borrowers with recent blips on their credit record.

Product highlights include:

  • Two-year fixed rate at 75% LTV now available from 2.69%, cut from 3.05%, for individual borrowers and limited company applicants.
  • Two-year fixed rate at 75% LTV for HMOs, now available from 2.89%, cut from 3.34% for individual borrowers and limited company applicants.
  • A cut to its large HMO/multi-unit block two-year fix products at 75% LTV, for properties with more than eight bedrooms or 10 units. These have a new rate of 2.99%.

Jeff Knight, Director of Marketing at Foundation Home Loans, said: “To be able to announce price cuts of up to 45 basis points is a significant move. It gives greater choice for landlords, especially HMO clients as the ICR is highly competitive in this market at only 145% at 5.5%.

“We’ve seen a growing appetite for two-year products in recent months from landlord borrowers looking for rate security alongside some freedom to be flexible after 2022.”

All two-year products have fees of 2%, ERCs of 3%/2% and come with end-terms of 31st January 2022.

Eligible launches broker client retention calculator

Eligible, a technology firm automating customer retention for the mortgage industry, have launched a broker client retention calculator to help brokers assess how much potential revenue is being lost by not retaining existing mortgage customers.

The tool has been built especially for brokers and all brokers need to do is drag the three bars across so that they match your current retention stats and it will then automatically show you how much revenue is being lost in remortgage deals. The calculator can be found at www.eligible.ai.

Eligible helps the mortgage industry engage with their clients in more relevant ways. Eligible combines digital journeys and behavioural analytics to nurture and retain client relationships.

Rameez Zafar, CEO and co-founder at Eligible, commented: “We’ve developed our broker-client retention calculator to help advisers see how important it is to focus on client retention. The calculator helps brokers identify any problems or room for improvement in their current retention efforts and solidifies client retention as a key priority and contributor to company growth.

“It gives an insight into how much money you’re really leaving on the table, so you can prioritize your retention strategy. It also shows you how much Retain, our dedicated mortgage retention solution, could save you if you invest in retention.

“We believe that retention should be on the top of brokers’ priority lists for 2020, not an after-thought.”

Oodle Car Finance Appoints Equiniti Credit Services as Standby Servicer Following £350m Securitisation

Oodle Car Finance has appointed Equiniti Credit Services (EQCS), the UK’s leading consumer credit technology and outsourced services provider, as its standby servicer following the successful completion of its first asset-backed securitisation, worth £350 million.

The oversubscribed transaction saw the fast-growing, online, used-car finance provider attract demand from 14 European and international bond investors.

With EQCS in place as its ongoing standby servicer, Oodle has satisfied regulatory requirements and reassured its investors that assets will continue to be administered should the lender cease to trade or withdraw from the market.

“Demonstrable contingency planning and risk mitigation are important factors both during and after securitisation,” said Richard Carter, managing director, Equiniti Credit Services. “Having a reliable and robust backup servicing partner in place when securitising loan books and loan portfolios can positively impact market value; it gives peace of mind that the portfolio will be securely managed should the worst happen, however unlikely that may be.

“EQCS has worked with Oodle since the company’s inception in 2016, and we are delighted to have further strengthened our relationship. This latest round of securitisation will enable the company to deliver on its exciting future plans.”

Jonny Clayton, founder and chief executive officer, Oodle Car Finance, said: “We wanted to secure additional funding to enable us to invest further in making the car buying process more seamless, efficient and consumer-centric. This successful securitisation unlocks huge potential for our unique digital platform. EQCS has already played a central role in Oodle’s journey and we welcomed the team’s specialist expertise as an established backup servicer.”

This latest win cements EQCS’ position as the largest standby service provider in the UK, working with 45 lenders across the finance market.

Richard Carter says: “Working across a range of sectors, from simple funding lines for secured personal loan books to publicly traded asset backed securitisations, has given us unrivalled experience in this industry. We offer UK consumer finance lenders a strong and reliable standby servicing solution, with a clear contingency plan for invocation that ensures minimal disruption, a seamless recovery, and peace of mind for our clients.”

EQCS is transforming the future of lending by delivering flexible, agile solutions that support the entire lifecycle of a loan. It operates across a diverse range of financial services companies including banks, investment banks, building societies, motor finance, specialist finance and challengers.

Oodle Car Finance is changing the way people buy cars, by putting its customers’ needs front and centre in the second biggest retail market in the UK.

Over 60,000 debt solution customers gain access to financial and wellbeing benefits as Gregory Pennington and Freeman Jones join forces with Personal Group

Thousands of debt solution customers of Gregory Pennington and Freeman Jones now have access to a complete wellbeing package through a UK first partnership with benefits and insurance provider, Personal Group.

Gregory Pennington, a leading provider of debt advice and solutions, has joined forces with Personal Group, to offer 60,000 customers access to 24 x 7 confidential support via Health Assured, online healthcare service videodoc and a number of retail savings and discounts. This combination will assist with the physical, mental and financial wellbeing of those who need it most.

These services are available to all customers of Gregory Pennington’s Debt Management Plan (DMP) and Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) customers of Freeman Jones. The services are accessed via individual customer portals, either on their mobile phones or other devices.

Deborah Ware, director of Gregory Pennington and Freeman Jones, commented, “Our focus isn’t just on supporting customers to clear their debts, it is also about helping them improve their financial, mental and physical wellbeing. This partnership really elevates our commitment to help improve customers’ wellbeing, maximise their income and manage their finances more easily.”

Doctor Conor O’ Hanlon, medical director at videoDoc said, “Offering videoDoc online health and wellbeing solution shows true consistency in Gregory Pennington’s mission. The flexibility of videoDoc means customers can fit their healthcare needs around their own schedule because they can speak to a GP in minutes, wherever they are.”

Ashley Doody, chief information officer for Personal Group, said, “We know that individuals with financial worries have an increased need for mental and physical wellbeing support. In conjunction with our partners we’re delighted to be working with Deborah and the team at Gregory Pennington to help those at their time of need.”

The Moving Hub partners with Charles Derby Financial Services

The Moving Hub, a leading conveyancing platform and case management system, has partnered with Charles Derby Financial Services.

The partnership will offer Charles Derby’s UK advisory network of financial advisers access to The Moving Hub’s extensive range of conveyancing services through its simple to use, and highly intuitive, conveyancing platform. This will provide advisers with more options and better support for their clients throughout any property-related transaction.

Charles Derby is a UK advisory business with a large team of advisers spread across the UK, including Scotland. It aims to be recognised as one of the very best advisory businesses in the industry and is devoted to helping individuals with their financial planning.

The Moving Hub is a conveyancing platform designed to help introducers such as mortgage intermediaries, financial advisers and estate agents connect to one of the largest panels of vetted solicitors across England and Wales. It is the first conveyancing platform to offer referral fees up front rather than on completion and is the first to consider the case capacity of each solicitor on the network so as not to overload and affect the quality of service.

Peter Joseph, CEO at The Moving Hub, commented: “Charles Derby is an impressive business which has been built on the highest professional service standards and face-to-face advice backed by an innovative technical support network. It’s reassuring that our platform has been recognised as one which can support such high standards, although we are constantly working hard to further improve it and provide even more value to our partners and their clients.”

Max Sullivan, Commercial Partnerships Manager at Charles Derby Financial Services, commented: “We’re really happy to have launched our partnership with The Moving Hub. This relationship will allow our advisers to offer clients an excellent conveyancing offering with The Moving Hub’s proven track record.”

Impact Specialist Finance and Harpenden BS complete on highly complex £1m residential deal

Impact Specialist Finance, the specialist mortgage broker and distributor, and Harpenden Building Society have just completed a £1 million interest only residential deal on a new build flat for a client in their 50’s.

The transaction was for a very upscale 19th floor new build property situated on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. It had a valuation of almost £2 million with some units in the development having restrictions to borrowers over 55’s and was above a commercial property.

The case in question is a perfect example of how brokers, packagers and lenders can work closely to secure highly complex residential property transactions. It also highlights the value attached to many building society lending propositions, in terms of their flexibility and approach to more criteria-based lending.

Dale Jannels, Managing Director at Impact Specialist Finance, commented: “The complexity attached to the deal really demonstrates the value of a packager as this particular case had so many non-standard aspects and would have taken up a lot of time for any broker to manage themselves. Harpenden BS proved to be the perfect lender and hats off to them for their common-sense approach to underwriting and the level of support throughout the process to get this multi-faceted case over the line.”

Graeme Aitken, Business Development Manager at Harpenden Building Society commented: “When I initially discussed this enquiry with Impact, I was confident that the overall quality of the lending proposition was one that we would be able to assist with, even though there were a number of non-standard aspects to this. The support of Impact and their understanding of our lending criteria has helped achieve a solution for both the client and broker for a tricky lending proposition”.

GMB welcome increase in London and UK Living Wage

GMB have welcomed the news that the ‘Real Living Wage’ has risen to £10.75 per hour in London and £9.30 for the rest of the UK.

The figure, independently calculated by the Living Wage Foundation and announced today (November 11) is based on what people need to live in London, and has risen by 20p from £10.55 per hour.

In East of England the real living wage is £9.30 per hour, an increase of 30p from £9.

GMB have called on all employers in London to pay the voluntary London Living Wage which is now £2.54 per hour higher than the government minimum wage (for over 25s) of £8.21 per hour, with the UK Living Wage now £1.09 per hour higher.

Warren Kenny, GMB Regional Secretary said: “GMB welcome the increase of the Living Wage to £10.75 an hour in London and £9.30 per hour outside London.

“Now it’s time for more employers to start paying it. In particular, contractors in the public sector and the NHS who should be forced to pay it.

“These pay increases are badly needed. Earlier this year, GMB showed that across London rent has risen by 21.7% since 2011 yet monthly earnings have increased by just 9.1% across the capital. In East of England rent has risen by 31.4% since 2011 compared to just 8.8% increase in pay rises.

“If employers don’t start paying the London Living Wage they will face staff shortages as workers, especially younger people, are priced out of housing market.”

Air Later Life Academy & Mortgage Club announce new relationship with Care Box

Air Later Life Academy (LLA), the commercial and training organisation for later life advisers and Air Mortgage Club, the distributor for equity release and later life advisers, has today announced a new relationship with Care Box.

Care Box has been created by My Care Consultant (MCC), independent UK long-term care specialists, and is an online resource designed with financial advisers in mind. It provides comprehensive support for both non-regulated and regulated care advice, providing tools, information and guidance on care-related topics and the ways to pay for care. Care Box content is driven by subscribers, regularly updated and is all in one place.

From today, members of both Air LLA and Air Mortgage Club will be able to subscribe to Care Box on either a monthly or annual basis.

Air Group will allocate reward points, as part of its Air Rewards scheme, to every member taking out either a monthly or annual subscription. The adviser can then choose to exchange these points for cash or donate to charity – Air Rewards allows advisers to earn points when they complete any business through the Group.

The online Care Box resource provides a whole sales toolkit to help advisers develop their business, as well as a broad range of easy-to-use guides and tools that advisers can share with clients, and to help them get answers to the regular care-related questions they receive, such as:

  • How is income and capital treated in the Local Authority’s financial assessment (means test)?
  • What funding options are available for those paying for their own care (self-funders)?
  • What is the current rate of Attendance Allowance?
  • How does NHS Continuing Health Care work and how can clients challenge a decision?
  • What support is there for those who have loved ones with dementia?

Air Group believes that by signing up to Care Box, Academy and Mortgage Club members will be able to provide more fully-rounded, relevant and up-to-date information on the care system and process, plus it will help develop their knowledge and understanding in a complex area.

Gary Little, Commercial Director of Air Group, commented: “The UK’s care system is undeniably complex and constantly changing, and while our Academy and Mortgage Club members might not be specialist advisers in this area, the likelihood is they will be asked general questions by clients on a whole range of care-related topics. This is why we are working with Care Box to ensure that those advisers who wish to expand their knowledge, or indeed are looking at potential opportunities in the care market, can use the vast range of resources available online in order to support their learning. The team at My Care Consultant, who are behind Care Box, have unparalleled expertise in this market and we couldn’t wish to work with a better operation in this space. We are looking forward to helping them develop this new proposition and to helping our members access, what is, an incredible resource.”

Jacqueline Berry, Founding Director of My Care Consultant & Care Box, said: “My Care Consultant (MCC) helps consumers navigate the complex social and health care systems that operate across the UK. We also help financial advisers deliver comprehensive care propositions to their clients. To this end we built Care Box Online to provide support to advisers on both non-regulated and regulated care advice, whether they provide care advice in-house or outsource to a specialist like MCC. We are proud to be an ambassador of Air, and we are delighted that they have chosen to work with us in this way as we believe the partnership will provide valuable support to advisers and firms in this important, growing market.”

Motor lender empowers customers with new online portal

Car-buying customers of Specialist Motor Finance (SMF) are now being put in the driving seat when it comes to managing their repayments and getting help from the company.

Shortly, every borrower will be able to go online to view an up-to-the second profile of their account, propose adjustments to their payment plan, and access customer support facilities.

The self-service portal, says SMF, will be especially welcomed by those who dislike engaging in phone conversations, or who find unsocial hours a better time to manage their affairs.

The facility is just one facet of an innovative new customer relations management tool in which the company has invested for its Chester headquarters.

Designed in collaboration with financial software specialist Genius, the system will fully automate the management of SMF’s loan portfolio and ensure that customers’ best interests are safeguarded.

For example, says SMF managing director David Challinor, it will provide an early warning about any borrower to whom the company should be reaching out to offer assistance.

The system will also create an ever-evolving profile of every individual customer and all their dealings with SMF, and ensure that each receives a consistently equal level of attention: “We are delighted that the hard work put in by Genius and our own technical team has resulted in a highly efficient means of providing the best possible support to borrowers,” said Mr Challinor.

“As well as maintaining close vigilance of every individual’s situation, we are also empowering customers to take greater control of their relationship with us,” he added.

Managing the integration of SMF’s systems with the customer relations management software developed by Genius was the company’s solutions architect Barry Crawford: “This was a very exciting bespoke project which has resulted in tangible benefits for both SMF and its customers, and ensures that both parties stay in full control at all times,” he said.

“Features in the system such as diallers, payment processing, screen and call recording, and mobile apps all work seamlessly together and log activity automatically on each borrower’s profile.

“At the bottom line will be the knowledge every loan account is being constantly monitored, and that extra time is being created for staff to deal with customers in need,” said Mr Crawford.

SMF provides motor finance via brokers and car dealers, and bases its decisions on how an applicant is likely to conduct themselves in the future, rather than on what has happened in their past.

Monmouthshire Building Society Launches New Portfolio Mortgage Range

Monmouthshire Building Society has launched a new portfolio mortgage range.

Key features of the range:

  • Landlords can mortgage multiple investment type properties under one loan
  • Landlords can finance diverse portfolios with any mix of Buy-to-Let, Holiday Let, House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) and Multi Unit Freehold properties
  • Loan to Value (LTV) and Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR) requirements can be assessed across the whole portfolio
  • Borrowers will have the flexibility to add, remove and substitute properties in the future subject to further review of the portfolio

Quote from Dawn Gunter, Chief Operating Officer at Monmouthshire Building Society: ‘The private rental sector is going through a lot of change and landlords have had little choice but to adapt. For example, the market has seen many professional landlords invest in more diverse portfolios and set up limited companies to manage their property businesses.

As a lender, we need to respond by providing mortgages that meet the evolving needs of landlords. Our new portfolio range offers landlords and mortgage intermediaries a simple, flexible solution to financing diverse property portfolios.’

More information about the range:

  • Rates: 3.14% 2 Year Variable Discount and 3.54% 5 Year Variable Discount (1% Product Fee applies to both products)
  • Mortgage up to 20 properties
  • Maximum LTV of 75%
  • Minimum 145% ICR based on an interest rate of 5.5% or the initial pay rate plus 2% (whichever is greater)
  • Up to 25% capital repayments annually with no Early Repayment Charges
  • Any amount repaid above the annual 25% allowance will be subject to an Early Repayment Charge
  • The 2 Year product has an ERC of 2%
  • The 5 Year product has an ERC of 5% in year 1, 4% in year 2, 3% in year 3, 2% in years 4 and 5
  • Landlords will be able to apply direct to Monmouthshire Building Society or through an intermediary
  • Available to UK based individual landlords and limited companies / SPVs with 2+ years’ experience
  • For landlords with 4 or more mortgaged rental/investment type properties and a maximum of 20 overall (including mortgaged with other lenders and unencumbered)
  • Purchase and remortgage loans available
  • Further eligibility and lending criteria will apply and applications are subject to a full underwriting assessment of the portfolio
  • Most Buy to Let Mortgages (investment type property loans) are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority
  • If you fail to keep up with payments on your mortgage a ‘receiver of rent’ may be appointed and/or your rental property may be repossessed