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First-time Buyer

HSBC pulls mortgage deals and Nationwide hikes rates in another hit to homemovers

Nick Cheek
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Nick Cheek

HSBC and Nationwide announced last-minute mortgage withdrawals and changes yesterday, which left homeowners and brokers fuming.

At midday yesterday, HSBC announced that its new business residential and buy-to-let products would be taken off the market by 5pm.

The bank said in a statement: “In order to maintain our service levels, we will be removing our current new business residential and buy-to-let (BTL) products from sale at 5pm on 8th June.

“If we need to remove our product range before the end of the day, we will send another notification to inform you.”

A while later, the bank did just that, saying: “Due to significant demand, we will be removing our new business residential and buy-to-let products from sale with immediate effect.”

The bank said products would not be available again until 12 June, after changes had been made.

Meanwhile, Nationwide announced that it would be increasing rates across select two, three and five-year fixes from today.

The UK’s largest mortgage lender said: “From Friday 9 June, we’re making some changes to selected rates across our new business, switcher, additional borrowing and existing customer moving home ranges: selected fixed rates increased by up to 0.25%.”

Earlier, in the week, Halifax upped rates on a range of products including first-time buyer and shared ownership deals.

A Halifax spokesperson said: “In response to changes in the swap markets in recent weeks, we announced increases to rates across our fixed product range. These range between 30 and 82 basis points.”

And it’s not just the high street giants that are pulling products, smaller lenders are following suit. This morning, Saffron Building Society announced it would be withdrawing a range of fixed rate products due to current market conditions.

‘The mortgage market right now is in a state of chaos’

Brokers are unsurprisingly dismayed by the swift withdrawals and short notice as it leaves little time for them to achieve the best results for their clients.

Jamie Lennox, director at Dimora Mortgages, said more needed to be done so lenders could give a 24-hour notice period at minimum to allow clients to consider their options.

He added: “With these short windows to submit, there is a real risk that more fraudulent cases slip through the net as brokers scramble to get apps submitted without completing proper due diligence.”

Lewis Shaw, owner and mortgage broker at Riverside Mortgages, said this was one thing the sector did not want to see happen again.

He said broker diaries had been “thrown out the window” as they rushed to secure rates before they rose.

Shaw added: “The mortgage market right now is in a state of chaos and lenders need to think through the impact this kind of negligible notice period has on brokers and consumers alike.”

The withdrawals and changes come as it was revealed that more than 200 mortgages were withdrawn last weekend, according to financial information site Moneyfacts.

That represents around 4% of the total number on the market, and follows 373 mortgages being pulled from the market in the week to 30 May.

The mortgage market upheaval follows the publication of the inflation figures for April.