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Abbey tightening up on fast-track lending

Abbey will be tightening its fast-track policy over the next few months after admitting it is not comfortable with its current procedures.

Speaking at Abbey for Intermediaries Key Account conference, deputy chief risk officer Iain Laing said: “There is extreme attention on fast-track at the moment and I think it is justified. We have a broader fast-track policy than we are comfortable with and you will see us tighten that up over the next few months.”

In February, Money Marketing reported that fast-track mortgages could be leaving the mortgage industry open to unscrupulous brokers.

Laing said it would particularly focus on high loan to value fast-track, although he pointed out that Abbey never went as far as its competitors in offering fast-track at very high LTVs.

He told delegates this move is partly regulatory driven and partly driven by its own review of how the policy and underwriting process works.

Laing said: “It concerns me when people do not have documentation and do not have a deposit. We will go further down the line in tightening up of collateral required and further down the line in being sure the customer can afford the loan they are taking with us.”

AFI managing director Ricky Okey said the firm will be tightening up specifically on cases that come to the lender three times, with small tweaks in between the submissions.

Okey said: “Where we have multiple submissions, we will look very carefully at them. These are the cases we are clearly nervous about.

“We are not pulling out of fast-track. We are not doing anything other than making tweaks and changes.”

Mortgage Force chief executive Rob Clifford says: “Inevitably more lenders will look to do the same. Any product that does not use as much documentation as evidence of the quality of affordability of the consumer is clearly going to be under the spotlight over the next six months.”

Conference reports, p24

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