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Your January update from AMI Chief Executive Robert Sinclair

AMI Chief Executive Robert Sinclair gives his January update, reflecting on the challenges and opportunities of the year ahead…

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With mortgage rates at lifetime lows, which in my case is a lot of years, it is absurd that remo volumes remain firmly rooted at low levels. What is it that is preventing more borrowers from moving to lower rates?  What is becoming clear with all the work AMI is doing on mortgage and property prisoners is that there is no one factor, but a series of issues that are blighting the market.

First, there are those who self-certified their income and either no longer have that income or do not have business accounts which show income to cover the required loan.

Second, there are many with interest only loans who cannot meet new affordability rules based on capital repayment.

Third, there are some with rock bottom tracker rates who do not want to disturb their current loans.

Fourth, there are there are those with a payment blip that has damaged their credit score.

Fifth, some think the mortgage market is still closed and too difficult after the crisis and MMR.  There are still too many negative press comments.

Sixth, the horror stories of four hour mortgage and protection interviews has left many cold.

Seventh, the rate that many borrowers are paying today and for the last 5 years is affordable, so why rock the boat.

Eighth, for some their credit score does not let them get the great rate on the comparison site, so the answer for them is no.

Ninth, the questions asked and information required is more than when they took out their loan and seems intrusive.

Lastly, with many lenders having stopped giving advice, the customer does not know how to get to a broker, or if they trust them.

All of this combines to deliver a much smaller market.  The large lending engines are applying a single approach to all borrowers and it is only the challenger Banks and regional Building Societies that are showing any appetite for those not “gilt edged”.  However as these are now predominantly intermediary driven it is up to brokers to work to find the opportunities.  It is still work in progress.

Robert Sinclair


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