Adrian Moloney – OneSavings Bank Group Sales Director
Hard as it may be to believe, it’s only been a little over six weeks since the government introduced its furlough scheme to mitigate the effects of Covid-19. In that time, an incredible 8.7 million employed people have been furloughed. When you combine it with the 2.5 million self-employed people claiming through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEIS), the figure goes up to more than 11 million1 people receiving some form of support – that’s a third of the UK’s workforce2.
It’s a staggering number and one which throws into sharp relief just how much the pandemic is affecting the country. Over the past few months, everyone has had to put their future plans on hold, including those hoping to apply for a mortgage. According to the latest figures from the Bank of England3, mortgage approvals were down 80% in April compared with February and are just half the level seen at the height of the financial crisis.
We understand you may have customers who are concerned how being furloughed will affect their suitability for mortgage applications. As Group Sales Director for the UK’s leading specialist lender, let me reassure you that we’re here to support you and your customers during these difficult times. We believe that just because everything else seems to be on hold, your customers shouldn’t have to put their home owning aspirations on hold.
We’ve been closely monitoring the economy and waiting to see what’s happened with the government support schemes. This patient approach has enabled us to clarify our criteria, and I’m delighted to say we’re now at stage to launch a two-pronged pathway to help your customers get their mortgage applications back on track.
We’re now accepting furlough income on residential mortgages to 80% of income to a maximum of £2,500 per month, along with any evidenced employer top-up over and above this amount. For those claiming through SEIS, we’ll use current income for affordability purposes where evidenced.
For buy to let mortgages, we’re now considering applications from landlords who have income that’s unrelated to buy to let and who are in receipt of furlough or SEIS income.
I’m also delighted to announce that we’ll be honouring pipeline cases. This is massive news as it means cases which were submitted pre-Covid-19 will be honoured based on the original criteria. Please bear with us as we work through the pipeline. Looking at cases on an individual basis is really important to us and enables us to make fully informed decisions, resulting in a better journey for your clients.
I’m sure you’ll understand there may be additional underwriting requirements, but don’t forget our team of Business Development Managers is here to help you manage your cases through the pipeline, as well as answer any questions about furlough payments, or anything else related to your applications.