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Nationwide excludes applicants who recently lived abroad

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Nationwide will only accept mortgage applications from recent expats in branch following a policy change.

The mutual said the changes were made to streamline the mortgage process and it had stopped accepting manual paper-based applications.

As well as those who have had a foreign residential address, applicants who have had a British Forces Post Office address in the last three years will have to apply for mortgages in branch, this service will not be available through mortgage brokers.

A Nationwide spokeswoman said the building society was in line with a number of other lenders: “By operating on one system, Nationwide will be better placed to deliver a more consistent, efficient service to our customers.

“This does mean withdrawing a small number of manual paper-based applications that were previously processed on the historic system.”

A foreign address is defined as anything outside the UK.

John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger said Nationwide’s move to a less flexible structure is likely to be followed by other lenders once the Mortgage Market Review arrives.

He said: “The MMR requires lenders to do more about affordability checks. In reality lenders have been increasingly checking anyway but it may not have been recorded. But it will not be just a case of doing it but proving they have done so.”

Applications for genuine bargain price, restricted resale price or discount market schemes, applications where there were more than two applicants for new borrowing and further borrowing have also been excluded.

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