We’re here to support you

To ensure that we work together to get the best service for you and your client, our Delivering Service Together page gives our top tips for submitting a case to avoid delays and details on how to track your case.

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.

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

Maximum permitted income multiples

Multiple above 4.5 x income is capped at 80% LTV.


Furlough Applicants

New applications

New business applications are no longer permitted where affordability is dependent on any income from an applicant furloughed (fully or partially) at the time of application.


Self-Employed Applicants: (including government scheme income support)

  • New applications will be subject to a full assessment by an underwriter.
  • All self-employed applicants will be required to submit their latest three months' business bank statements, which must clearly demonstrate that trading has been maintained at a level sufficient to support the level of income used within the affordability assessment.
  • In addition, applicants will be required to submit January, February and March 2020 business bank statements in order to compare business activity to pre COVID-19 levels.

Where the business bank statements do not clearly demonstrate that trading has maintained at a sufficient level to support income required for affordability and where it is evident that there has been an adverse impact on the business, income should not be included within the affordability assessment.

Before submitting an application, we recommend you contact your BRM prior to submission on all self-employed cases. As a responsible lender, we need to ascertain and confirm whether the sustainability of income will be affected by COVID-19, therefore consider the following prior to discussing the case with your BRM.

  • Is the applicant's self-employed business currently experiencing or anticipating any future adverse effects, reduced income levels, as a result of COVID-19? If yes, please provide an overview of the impact.
  • Has the applicant applied, or intending to apply for assistance from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) or any other associated government funding?
  • Has the applicant requested any payment deferrals on any of their secured and unsecured debts? If yes, we will require details of their current position on these.

Bounce back loans

Where the business is in receipt of a bounce back loan, the repayments will need to be included in the affordability assessment. Therefore when submitting an application where a bounce back loan has been acquired, please ensure the monthly repayments are included in the loans and hire purchase section (we may request sight of the bounce back loan agreement documentation to verify the repayment amount).

When submitting your Full Mortgage Application (FMA), to help us accurately complete the initial underwrite of your application and instruct valuation, our minimum requirements are:

  • Self-employed applicants (minimum 2 years)
    • Accounts/SA302s
    • Tax Year overviews corresponding to SA302s
    • Business bank statements - we require the latest three months' business bank statements as well as January, February and March 2020 statements
    • Accountant's details for self-employed limited company cases

Deed of Gift/Transfer at Undervalue

We are not currently accepting applications whereby the clients are purchasing the property at an undervalue and/or where the equity is being gifted.


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

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 and Further Advance (when applied for at the point of product switch) for capital raising:

  • Capital raising and further advances (when applied for at the point of product switch) for home improvements to the mortgaged property will be accepted up to 85% LTV.
  • Capital raising and further advances (when applied for at the point of product switch) with a Transfer of Equity will be accepted up to 85% LTV.
  • Capital raising and further advances (when applied for at the point of product switch) 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 a wedding, holiday etc.

Help to Buy and Shared Ownership

Capital raising to purchase an additional share (staircasing) permitted up to 85% LTV where the final share is being purchased. Standard policy applies where an additional share is being purchased but the borrower does not have full ownership rights. 


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 (for mortgage administrators) 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

We've been advised of some delays regarding valuations being completed. We thank you for your patience during this time but would ask you not to contact the Society and use our portals for updates on the status of your case.

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.

Valuations are being instructed as normal and within the SLAs published on our website.


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 deferrals

Following the confirmation that a second lockdown will be introduced in England on Thursday 5 November, the FCA has announced that further support for mortgage borrowers impacted by COVID-19 will be available.

We are awaiting the final details and will provide an update when they are confirmed. However, the key feature will be that borrowers who haven’t taken a payment deferral or have taken one for a period of less than 6 months and would like to take their payment deferral up to the 6 months, will be able to apply.

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

For the details of the support we’re providing to customers who may be in financial difficulty, click here.


Product switches

If a customer is on a payment holiday or has 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. However, as you would expect if your client's circumstances change 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.