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HSBC returns to pre-lockdown timetable for valuations and revives buy-to-let

HSBC is making buy-to-let mortgages available once again and has cleared its backlog of physical valuations in England and Scotland.

Easing of restrictions have enabled the lender to make the changes which will mean physical valuations will now work to a pre-lockdown timetable.

It also announced it would be re-starting physical valuations in Northern Ireland today (Monday). Meanwhile, in Wales, physical valuations were due to start when the country’s lockdown restrictions are eased.

News of the return of its buy-to-let mortgages will come as good news to landlords who can now apply for these products through online or telephone applications direct from HSBC UK.

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Restrictions on the movement of people and access to properties introduced as part of the Covid-19 lockdown meant that HSBC – along with many other lenders – was forced to change the way it approached the valuation of properties to ensure it was providing responsible lending.

Michelle Andrews, head of buying a home, at HSBC UK explained: “Where we could we expanded our use of desktop and automated valuations, so mortgage applications could continue.

“In some cases, like higher LTV applications and buy-to-let mortgages it is an essential part of the process, so unfortunately those applications had to be paused.

“I am pleased to say that we have now, with the help of our corporate valuations partners, addressed our backlog of physical valuations in England and Scotland and those mortgages that were on hold are progressing, taking those buying a home one step closer to a potentially dream move.

“Plus, as we are now in a position where we can satisfy our requirement for a physical valuation in a safe compliant way, we are also able to provide buy-to-let mortgages again for landlords.”

Andrews added: “We have shown we can work with our valuers at pace when physical valuations become possible, with appointments already in the diary in Northern Ireland for Monday.

“We are looking forward to being able to progress with physical valuations in Wales as soon as the lockdown rules ease.”

By Kate Saines

Source: Mortgage Finance Gazette

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HSBC launches mortgage payment holiday and interest-only switch in Covid-19 package

HSBC has set out its support for mortgage borrowers who have been affected by the Covid-19 outbreak.

The bank will offer short term support through reduced or deferred payments for mortgages, with longer term support through extending the remaining mortgage term, switching rates or switching part or all to interest-only mortgage arrangements.

The support package now includes a mortgage payment holiday, which was not previously offered to help borrowers in financial difficulty.

Last Friday, HSBC announced a reduction of 0.15% on its standard variable rate mortgage following the second Base Rate reduction by the Bank of England. It had previously agreed to pass on the full 0.50%.

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Additionally, from tomorrow all bank account and Advance account customers will receive a temporary £300 interest free buffer (which is the equivalent of the weekly National Living Wage) on their current account.

Customers can also access fixed rate savings accounts with no closure charges and a temporary increase in credit card and overdraft limits.

“We are here for our customers in these truly extraordinary times. While we put in place a package of support for customers across a number of product areas, we recently added the option of a mortgage payment holiday, which we had not previously offered, and now we are providing additional relief on overdrafts for millions of our current account customers. This will provide some welcome short term cashflow support at this crucial time.”

Tracie Pearce, HSBC UK’s director of retail banking

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Source: Financial Reporter