View more on these topics

Abbey for Intermediaries brands mortgage brokers high risk

Abbey for Intermediaries has been accused of biting the hand that feeds it after it emerged that mortgage brokers are on its list of “high-risk” jobs when assessing self-employed mortgage applications.

The lender would not confirm how long brokers have been on the list which it says is reviewed regularly. Other jobs on the list include professional actors, dancers, sportspeople, car salesmen, property developers and bankers.

The company will no longer accept accountants’ certificates for what it deems to be high-risk jobs and now only accepts the last three years of accounts, or two years if a firm has only been trading for two years.

A spokeswoman says: “We regularly review and update our lending criteria to ensure we are lending responsibly and that borrowers are not overstretching themselves.

“In the current economic climate, there will clearly be some occupations that are deemed higher risk than others and, as a responsible lender, we may employ more robust underwriting when lending to such self-employed borrowers if we believe this is necessary.”

Savills Private Finance managing director Mark Harris says: “It is a sad sign of the times that the hand that feeds them is on the list. It does not bode well for the future of our sector if an intermediary-focused lender has not got a great deal of confidence in individual mortgage brokers.”

Chadney Bulgin mortgage partner Jonathan Clarke says: “It is shocking there is a list and it is a bit insulting that we are on it.”

Email Mortgages chief executive Michael White says: “It is frustrating to have to bow to these constraints which seem to have no logic. You cannot just say that a person is high-risk because of what they do, there is a whole range of factors.”


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 22 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Abbey used to be a slag, but now Abigail is becoming a Nun.

  2. same shit, different day!!!!!!!!!


  3. Given the conduct of a small but signifianct number of our colleagues can any of us really be surprised? Brokers know how to play the system and some of them have played it to their own advantage. Further as business levels have been slashed as a result of the recession many mortgage only brokers have been “feeling the pinch”.

  4. I fail to see why this is a problem.

    The honest amongst us have nothing to fear from this.

    Or are there more less honest amongst us.

    Be afraid. Be very afraid that you may get caught out if you fit into the latter category.

  5. So what? It’s true. Whats wrong with providing 3 years accounts? I agree with what they say & I am a mortgage broker!

  6. Im obviously missing something – what is all the moaning about? This is not an anti broker move, it is a sensible business process. Mortgage business is down dramatically and therefore mortgage brokers’ income will be down. Given the scams that a small number of brokers have got involved in, why wouldn’t a lender want to make sure?

  7. The article obviously went right over the first 2 peoples heads

  8. I have no issue with it after all if you are lending money you would want to be sure the ability to repay is secure and likely to continue and mortgage brokers have suffered at least as much as any other profession…my one issue would be surely employed mortgage advisers must be on the list too? They could lose their job quicker and must be as high risk

  9. Many years ago when regulated by MCCB and fees were only £500 year. Lenders required 3 months payslips for employed & 3 yrs accounts for S/Employed. Whats wrong in providing the same now.

    Bring back the MCCB

  10. I am directly authorised by the FSA and have been since 2002, over the last three years my income has dropped by half, this is the right thing to do!

  11. My god, when you think what those crooks at the banks have been upto. Selling PPI even when clients did not know they had been sold it. How much did Alliance and Leicester get fined for mis-selling PPI !!!. They should look at themeslves before placing judgement on the mortgage broker!!!

  12. There is obviously a mixed view on this. I would say that there is nothing wrong in providing 3 years accounts and a mortgage being based on those accounts. Most lenders seam to take the last year as the working figure anyway. Nothing has changed, if you are a full status client then these have always been the rules. Also we are three years into this down turn in mortgage business which will be reflected in the accounts, so no one is going to be lending against a set of figures that are not representative of what they are earning now. From my own experience I would say our incomes have bottomed out and we are on the up turn because we have diversified and created other income streams which may have taken some time to develop but are now reaping rewards. This is what sets us appart from other industries, we are a resourseful bunch. What I do strongly object to is the fact that we have been put on this list and we are classed and looked upon in the same breath as actors, dancers, car salesman and property developers, actors and dancers don’t know from one day to the next what work they have and can not control it, they sit on the phone and wait fro the call. I thought we were professionals. That’s what the FSA keep telling me, and that’s why we have to be so highly trained and pay huge fees to be “in the club”. It would seam we are not professional advisers, we are salesmen who don’t know where the next piece of business is coming from. It would also imply that Santander feel that there will be even less mortgage business written in the future, because if our incomes are directly linked to mortgage volume of which we send a proportion to them (or we used to, because I certainly will not be sending them any business in future) then for them to be worried about our income they must be even more worried about their own. This is another Bank of Ireland moment. Who earlier in the year wanted brokers to take out their office insurance plan that they designed for brokers and this came at the same time of them supporting their mortgage proposition to the Post Office at the expense of Brokers. I am sick and tired of being shafted from within my own industry. It doesn’t happen anywhere else

  13. so they push our business down by dual pricing, so thats why our incomes have been falling, and then they have the flaming cheek to phone me twice this morning (2 different people) asking me to do their survey!!

  14. Some good points raised and I would suggest most lenders are pushing loyalty products in a bid to rid the broker. Lets face it, we keep the lenders in check with both pricing and suitability of products. A lot of clients would not know they have been mis-sold until they speak to an advisor. This is just another letter of the writing on the wall. Strangely it is the regulator I feel is responsible for the lack of competition in the market. A lender should behave like a lender, which is currently more focused on client retention and taking advantage of the market place, why shouldn’t they? The regulator has failed brokers and they general public consistently and continues to do so. As such I think I have a high risk job and often have thought the future looks bleak. Santander just have to guts to acknowledge this and no doubt realise that MMR proposals are going to put a lot of brokers out of business and turn the screw further on many others. As a lender they are in a win win situation, they play good monopoly and UK money pours over to Spain.

  15. so now we know that AFI thinks mortgage brokers are high risk,
    we also know that the mortgage market is shrinking,
    fewer lenders
    fewer borrowers
    fewer brokers
    the cost of funding for lenders in the money markets will cause further contraction and reduced customer choice in the years ahead,

    the free flowing capital of yester year has ended,
    the Gov was happy for the country to be exposed to greater lending /borrowing risk as it created a demand/growth bubble, but as we all know this was unsustainable,
    the Gov has printed 200bln of new money to cover its own high risk game,
    we get to pay the price both as tax payers and brokers,
    with less money for lending the lenders get to pick and choose the rules of the game, not the FSA, whose role is confined to counting the dead,

  16. High risk is trying to put a case through Abbey, service levels and comunication from them is sporadic at best…. its like playing a game of Russian roulete, I’m praying for a case to go thru as a type!

  17. Brendan C. I think probably the reverse may be true, but yes, I am as cynical as the next guy, in fact probably more so and can read between the lines, but…………….. there is such a fine borderline between cynicism and reality.

    The reality of this is that those occupations mentioned are indeed high risk and indeed can be creative. Some even so creative as to be calamitous one might suggest.

    As a broker, I have no problem with Abbey’s stance.

  18. Sorry, is this a slow new day or something as this article appears to be aimed at:

    (1) Stirring up bile and anger against Santander

    (2) Trying to create ‘debate’ about something as simple as a Lender deciding that a certain profession is deemed to be high risk due to external factors.

    Well so what?

  19. I can’t believe that santander would do this to me!! Just because mortgage brokers are dropping like flies! I feel let down and dejected! and on a serious note, the only problem with the list of ‘unclean’ is, that I review santander’s updated rates and criteria changes,on their usual daily basis and do not remember seeing this criteria! Does this mean where ‘fastrack’ cases are concerned I’ve been obtaining incorrect proof of income and could lose my ‘fastrack’ facility?
    In the words of Richard Wilson,the second post on here ‘I don’t believe it!’

  20. “Other jobs on the list include professional actors, dancers, sportspeople, car salesmen, property developers and bankers”

    In view of the fact that the Intermediary mortgage market is shrinking and the staff processing the mortgages sent in by intermediaries are in effcet on the above list I wonder how they view staff mortgage applications at the current time ??

  21. I’m DA and before DA was with MCCB.
    I fail to see what the fuss is about?
    Anyone with two brain cells would be able to work out that mortgage brokers would be deemed high risk on a risk list if such a list existed.
    We work within industry,we know its workings,and most of us have seen our income shrink over the last few years?if anyone was better placed to bring risk with their mortgages to a given lender it would be a broker.
    Whether with poor communications,policies and a random approach to business a broker would try his own mortgage with Santandar is the real question?

  22. online copywriting 26th November 2010 at 9:07 am

    Hi there! Listen I am here to share something with you guys. If you are in need of a loan but having problems getting it because of bad credit, you should ask these people for help as it is the best of all Bad Credit Mortgage Companies. These people are quite professional and very much helpful. Mortgage For Bad Credit

Leave a comment