Knowledge Bank adds new categories to meet demand around cladding

Knowledge Bank, the UK’s largest mortgage criteria search system, has launched new criteria categories including one to support brokers to find lenders who will lend on properties with cladding. The two new categories are ‘Composite Cladding / EWS1 Form’ and ‘Local Authority Search Indemnity Insurance’.

The cladding category has been introduced to help brokers find lenders that will lend on properties with composite cladding. Due to issues around potentially unsafe cladding, there is a huge surge in brokers dealing with clients who are effectively mortgage prisoners. They are trapped in unsafe housing as they struggle to remortgage or sell their property, as some lenders are hesitant to provide finance. An estimated 650,000 people are currently living in properties with potentially unsafe cladding according to The Guardian, and so Knowledge Bank introduced this new category for brokers to support their clients who are trapped in this way.

The second category is for indemnity insurance, which helps speed up the mortgage process and can lower costs as it means the lender does not have to conduct a search on the property. As awareness and demand for indemnity insurance is growing, Knowledge Bank makes it easier for brokers to find lenders that accept this.

The new categories are the latest additions from Knowledge Bank, which continually looks to make improvements that benefit brokers and their clients. In November 2020, the team developed a ‘Mortgage prisoners’ category as a result of the increasing number of lenders adjusting criteria to support clients trapped in mortgages.

These new launches come on the back of a record 1.35 million searches on the Knowledge Bank system in 2020. With the pace of change throughout the pandemic, Knowledge Bank’s real time database of accurate and up-to-date criteria has proven to be a vital tool for people across the mortgage industry.

Founder and CEO of Knowledge Bank, Nicola Firth said, “Supporting brokers is our number one focus. When we see a trend of requests or activity in the market, we immediately look to develop new categories to support this demand, and give brokers access to the information they need to help their clients. In the past year, more than any other, Knowledge Bank gained the reputation for being immediately responsive, providing brokers with the information they need, when they need it.

“With 52,000 criteria changes last year alone, it is clearly impossible to keep up with lenders’ changing criteria with a traditional spreadsheet. Brokers clearly realise this. The necessity of a criteria search system was demonstrated by the enormous and unprecedented number of searches carried out by brokers last year, which topped 1.35million.

“2021 looks certain to be another year of change. As always, we will ensure that we are on hand to help brokers and will continue to add new criteria, improve our service and support brokers the moment it is necessary.”