We’re here to support you

During these challenging times, we’d like you to know that we are doing everything we can to support you and your clients and keep you updated on how we are processing your business.

The government has provided additional guidance and confirmed that people who wish to move home can now do so.

To help you navigate how we can support you, we have listed below some of the regular questions that you ask our team and thought it would be helpful to share these rather than you having to contact us.


Temporary income criteria changes

Employed government scheme (Furlough):

Following the government’s announcement regarding support for business, our lending policy has been updated as outlined below.

This scheme provides a grant to UK employers in order to continue paying part of their PAYE employees salary that would otherwise have been made redundant.

Employers must designate affected employees as ‘furloughed’ and notify employees of this change. The employee remains employed by their company while furloughed but can’t undertake work for them.

The employers will be given 80% of furloughed employees wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500pm - The employer can opt to fund the difference between the payment and the employee’s salary but is not obliged to do so.

  • Furlough income will be accepted on new applications based on the total income being received by the client (i.e. 80% of their basic salary up to a maximum of £2,500pm (£30k pa) plus any additional employer top up).
  • We will require a letter from the employer confirming that they have been furloughed, including a breakdown of the income along with any usual income supporting status documents.
  • Pipeline cases will progress as normal, however we may request additional information should we feel there may have been a change in circumstances and we have not been notified of any changes to income.

Full details of the government scheme can be found here.


Self-Employed (including government scheme income support)

  • New applications will be subject to a full assessment by an underwriter.
  • Pipeline cases will progress as normal, however we may request additional information should we feel there may have been a change in circumstances and we have not been notified of any changes to income.

Non-guaranteed forms of income (e.g. Overtime/Bonus/Commission/Zero hour contracts):

Non-guaranteed forms of income will not be accepted on new applications, apart from the following exceptions:

NHS Workers

Non-guaranteed forms of income accepted on new applications – affordability will be calculated based on pre-March 2020 levels.

Other Key Workers

For cases for other key workers please contact your Business Relationship Manager.


Remortgage for capital raising:

  • Capital raising for home improvements to the mortgaged property will be accepted up to 85% LTV
  • Capital raising with a Transfer of Equity will be accepted up to 85% LTV
  • Capital raising for purposes other than those listed above are restricted to 65% LTV. Such purposes include, but are not restricted to the following: Debt Consolidation, Capital raising for business purposes, Purchase of a BTL property, Fund wedding, holiday etc.

Dealing with pipeline cases

We are ready to support you and process your business, although as you will appreciate things may take longer than our normal turnaround times that you are used to. Due to the current situation we would appreciate your patience as we process your cases.

You will receive case updates from our email alerts and you can also log on to our broker portal or case tracker facility to see an up to date status of your cases.

We would ask during this challenging period that you refer to the self-service portals as much as possible rather than calling for the time being.


Valuations

Following the government’s announcement and additional guidance for the housing market, physical property valuations will now be completed for all new applications where possible and where our AVM criteria is not met. We're currently working through our pipeline and new business cases however, there may be some impact on timeframes due to the additional safety measures required. We will continue to keep you up to date with the status of any cases placed with us through email alerts, our broker portal or case tracker facility.

For remortgage applications up to 75% LTV, an automated valuation model (AVM) will be completed, however the following exclusions apply:

  • Valuations exceeding £500,000
  • Excludes new build, flats, properties constructed before 1900
  • Although an AVM will be applied to properties meeting the required criteria, certain confidence levels need to be met for an AVM to be acceptable and those cases that do not meet these criteria will be placed on hold until a physical valuation can be completed.

Contact points

Our Business Relationship Managers and Intermediary Sales and Support team are of course available to help should you need to contact them.

Our Intermediary Sales and Support Team are available Monday to Friday 9am – 5pm.


Procuration Fees

Procuration fees will be paid as normal.


Mortgage payment holidays

We can offer payment holidays to your clients who have been financially impacted due to Coronavirus. Your clients have until 31 October 2020 to apply for a payment holiday.

Your clients can apply for a payment holiday by completing our online form. The online form cannot be used by customers who already have a payment holiday in place.

For your clients who are coming to the end of their payment holiday, we will contact them to advise them of their new monthly payment and the options that may be available to them.

For full details of the support we're providing, click here.


Product switches

If a customer is on a payment holiday or have been furloughed, they will be able to complete a product switch as normal, as long as they would normally qualify for one and have not been in arrears.


Mortgage Offer Extensions

The current situation may mean that some of your clients will need to extend their mortgage offer.

To request an offer extension, you should email ist@westbrom.co.uk quoting their mortgage reference number and name. As a responsible lender once received we will review the case and confirm any requirements to extend the offer, which may include updated supporting documentation and a valuation.

  • If your clients have exchanged and signed contracts for house purchases and completion was due during the lockdown period and has yet to be re-scheduled, this is likely to be particularly stressful. To support these clients, they can apply to extend their mortgage offer for up to three months to enable them to move at a later date.
  • However as you would expect if your client’s circumstances change during this three month period, or the terms of the house purchase change significantly, we’ll need to review the offer.
  • As a responsible lender, we’ve a duty to ensure that continuing with the mortgage won’t cause house buyers to face financial hardship. In these circumstances, we’ll work with your client to help them manage their finances as a matter of urgency.

The government advice can be found here.

We’re working hard to support all clients, however the most urgent cases need our immediate attention. So, please only contact us if you’re within 30 days of your client’s offer expiring.


Remote Video Interviews – ID Requirements

If an adviser carries out an online interview and can physically see their clients (via a medium such as skype) then we will class this for now as a face to face interview and ID requirements will be the same as an actual meeting. However, if an interview is carried out remotely without visual interaction, i.e. by telephone, then this will require additional ID as per our standard practice.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this challenging period.