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Mortgage help for zero hours workers

Written by: Emma Lunn
HSBC is relaxing its criteria for zero hours contract workers looking to get on to, or move up, the property ladder.

Following a review of the documentation required to support mortgage and remortgage applications and feedback from mortgage brokers and customers, HSBC has changed certain conditions for evidential documents and made earnings calculations more accurate.

Improvements include reducing the amount of continuous employment required with the same employer from two years to one year, plus replacing the requirement to produce two years’ P60 statements with just the latest P60.

In order to have greater visibility of current earnings and produce a more accurate affordability assessment, the last three payslips will be required instead of one.

The bank has also refreshed interest rates on its mortgage range, with rate cuts of up to 0.35 per cent.

Aaron Shinwell, head of mortgages and savings at HSBC UK, said: “A lot has been said about ‘zero hours’ contracts over the last few years, much of it giving the impression they are inherently bad. The reality is that a significant number of people –  approaching two million contractors working an average of 25 hours a week – are on zero hours contracts, and rely on them for their income. The flexibility suits their lives and their lifestyle, and their needs shouldn’t be ignored.

“What we have done is take on board feedback that certain requirements and documentation were hindering zero hours contractors’ chances of getting onto the property ladder, or remortgaging, with us, and as such our attractive mortgages were not really an option. These improvements will benefit all agency workers.”

HSBC has also reviewed its mortgage application process to reduce the time it takes to get a mortgage with the bank. The average time to get an offer has been reduced from five weeks to about 10 days, reducing to five days if the application is done through a branch adviser.

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