Charter Court Financial Services (Charter Court) has been ranked as one of the top 10 employers for the third year in a row in the prestigious Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list.
The Wolverhampton-based financial services company achieved sixth place in the top 100 Best Companies To Work For 2018 list which celebrates and showcases the very best in workplace engagement.
Charter Court, which has grown since launch in 2008 to employ more than 500 people at its Wolverhampton headquarters, maintained its high place in the list while remaining one of the fastest-growing specialist mortgage banks in the UK meeting customer demand for specialist mortgages, attractive savings products, exceptional value and great service.
The Sunday Times survey is the longest-running and most respected survey in the UK voted for by staff focusing on employee engagement.
Scores and ratings across a wide range of factors including leadership and fairness are based on the views of employees, and each year the questionnaires are revised and updated to reflect current concerns across UK workplaces to provide a detailed picture of what it is like to work at a particular company.
Ian Lonergan, CEO of Charter Court Financial Services plc, said: “We’re very proud to be in the top 10 of the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For survey for the third year running.
“The fact that the rankings are based on the views of the staff here underlines what an achievement this is and demonstrates the success of our focus on developing a positive workplace culture and team spirit.”
Precise Mortgages, the specialist lender, has today launched new Buy to Let and Residential Mortgage submission guides to make it easier for brokers to place their cases.
The aim of the guides is to simplify and speed up the application process by identifying what documentation is required for each case and reducing the number of times the lender needs to contact brokers while a case is being processed.
The guides were created following broker feedback, and are designed to be printed and used for easy reference when submitting an application.
To view the Buy to Let Mortgage submission guide, click here.
To view the Residential Mortgage submission guide, click here.
Precise Mortgages, the specialist lender, has created a fully searchable online criteria guide to help brokers access its lending criteria quickly and easily.
Created following feedback from brokers, the criteria guide details everything an intermediary needs to know before submitting a case, and includes:
The criteria guide is mobile and tablet friendly, and Precise Mortgages plans to add a Bridging Finance section soon.
To access the new criteria guide, click here.
Precise Mortgages, the specialist lender, will launch Income Supported Buy to Let next week, allowing customers with excess income to bridge the gap between the rent achieved by their property and the rent required to achieve the loan they want. This addition to its already extensive suite of products is designed to help mortgage intermediaries assist customers who may find themselves excluded from the buy to let market by the lending policies of high street lenders.
With no restrictions to product selection, Income Supported Buy to Let opens up the buy to let market to more customers who want to invest in property. It is available for purchase and remortgages, including capital raising, so customers who don’t want the additional administration of a limited company will have an alternative to help them get the loan they want.
Via its online portal, Precise Mortgages will give brokers the option to provide their customer’s income details and will present achievable loans based both on an ICR and combined ICR/income basis allowing the broker to select the best approach.
Alan Cleary, Managing Director of Precise Mortgages, said: “We believe that Income Supported Buy to Let will be a real game changer, particularly where customers are struggling to get the loan size they need. We have built this into our online systems so the sales process should be very slick.”
Danny Belton, Head of Lender Relationships at L&G Mortgage Club, added: “After what has been a tough year for the buy to let market, it’s great to see a lender such as Precise Mortgages recognising the challenges in the sector, and providing solutions for both mortgage intermediaries and their clients.”
For full details refer to Precise Mortgages’ website from Tuesday 5th December.
The PRA’s changes to tighten up lending criteria and ensure consistency have sent tremors across the lending landscape. Borrowers with four or more mortgaged buy to let properties are now classified as ‘portfolio landlords’ and subject to more stringent underwriting standards.
In its Supervisory Statement released at the time it announced the changes, the PRA said: ‘The PRA expects firms to recognise that existing experience and skills acquired in buy to let lending do not automatically translate into equivalent skills when assessing portfolio landlords. Lending to portfolio landlords is inherently more complex given the quantum of debt in aggregate, the cash flows and costs arising from multiple tenancies, and potential risks of property and/or geographical concentrations.’
As well as having to provide more in-depth information for new applications, brokers and landlords now also have to submit details for all the other properties in their portfolio. It’s caused an increase in the volume of work for both parties and, as a result, all lenders have had to radically rethink the way in which they’ll lend to portfolio landlords in the future.
We’ve seen lenders adopt a wide range of different approaches. Some lenders appear to have given very little thought to the impact on brokers’ sales processes and fee earning ability – they’ve pushed the burden onto the brokers by asking them to key in the portfolio details into their systems, meaning more work for the brokers for the same amount of money. Other lenders have announced they won’t be lending to portfolio landlords at all.
Imagine you’re a broker submitting a £100,000 buy to let application. Before the new regulations were introduced, you’d have earned a proc fee of around £400 for doing this. Now imagine your customer is applying for a new buy to let mortgage and already has 10 other properties in their portfolio. Following the introduction of the new regulations, not only do you now have to key in the details for the new application, you also have to supply data for the other properties too, all for the same £400 proc fee. You can see where the problem is and why some brokers might be reluctant to help portfolio landlords in the future.
It all means the market is now much more complex, with the expectation that specialist lenders will cope better with the changes than the larger ‘vanilla’ high street lenders. Certainly, as portfolio lending becomes more specialised, brokers and landlords will be less likely to go to lenders who aren’t providing them with the support they need.
Here at Precise Mortgages we thought long and hard about how we could minimise the disruption to brokers and landlords, while meeting the new requirements at the same time. We’ve set up a dedicated Portfolio Team who do the ‘heavy lifting’ for brokers by keying in the additional information – business plans, assets and liabilities statements, and details of existing residential property portfolios – required by the new regulations. Brokers can submit the information on our forms, landlords’ documents or any other format.
Although the long-term effects of lending to portfolio landlords are likely to be significant, there will be opportunities for specialist lenders and brokers who are prepared to adapt and evolve to the changing market. By making things as simple as possible and minimising the impact of the change, these lenders can help brokers and their customers concentrate on doing what they do best – growing their buy to let businesses.