Sam Barker


Govt hails early impact of stamp duty cut

The Government claims its flagship Budget policy to scrap stamp duty for first-time buyers has already had a significant impact. In November Chancellor Philip Hammond The Chancellor Philip Hammond ended the tax for FTBs on properties worth up to £300,000. At the time the decision was dismissed by the Office for Budget Responsibility, who said it would not […]


FCA data shows first-time buyer recovery following 2008 slump

A decade of FCA mortgage data has revealed a healthy recovery for the first-time buyer market after a slump following 2008. The class has shown steady growth from 2011 onwards and is now the healthiest of all lending categories by this metric, according to an FCA data bulletin. In 2016 the number of new loans (312,500) […]


RBS to close 259 branches

Royal Bank of Scotland is shutting 259 branches, one in four of its physical offices, and making 680 people redundant. The firm says more customers bank online, reducing remand for face-to-face services. RBS is closing 62 branches and NatWest 197. The banking group will have 744 branches left after the changes take place in late […]


Budget to unveil plans for 300,000 new homes a year

The Budget will lay out Government plans to help build 300,000 new homes a year, according to Chancellor Philip Hammond. The plans will include fasttracking developments with planning permission. Hammond said the Government would use “powers of state” to get homes built on these sites, according to the BBC. The Government will also unveil plans to […]


FCA extends outreach programme for mortgage advisers

The FCA will continue its programme of meetings with mortgage advisers in 2018, it has announced. The regulator says it will extend its Q&A Live & Local roundtables for mortgage firms from January to May next year. Each monthly event will have an FCA representative and an industry expert. The regulator will visit each region […]

TSB apologises for product transfer delay

TSB has apologised for delaying accepting product transfers until next year because it needs more time to upgrade its technology.  The lender initially planned to accept product transfers this month.  However, TSB sent an email to advisers and brokers yesterday to say it needed to finish rolling out its planned banking platform first.  The email from […]


Openwork encourages mortgage advisers to widen scope

Openwork aims to convert more mortgage advisers to restricted advisers with a new study programme. The programme, Route to Wealth, is designed to encourage more mortgage advisers to move into pensions and investments. Route to Wealth will be a two-year structured training programme, with all costs paid back by Openwork. Openwork mortgage director John Cupis says: […]

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Bank of England to pay strikers more money

The Bank of England has agreed to pay some of its workers more after strike action by members of the union Unite. Unite today announced that its members had accepted the deal, which also sees Bank staff get extra annual leave. Earlier this year Unite members of the Bank’s maintenance, security and parlour teams voted to […]


Old Mutual funds eye stake in newly-listed lender

Old Mutual Global Investors says it wants to buy £100m worth of shares in newly-listed lender Charter Court Financial Services. Charter Court, the parent of Precise Mortgages, confirmed this morning that it will list on the London Stock Exchange main market for more than £500m. The firm says it will use the listing to boost […]


Buy-to-let lender lines up £500m IPO

Precise Mortgages’ parent Charter Court Financial Services is close to announcing a £500m flotation on the London Stock Exchange. The firm was looking to sell last year, but switched its attention to floating, and Sky News reports this could be announced this week. Charter Court has hired Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays and EY to help […]


FCA set to bring back retirement interest-only mortgages

Advisers could soon have a new product to advise retirees on as the FCA is set to bring back retirement interest-only mortgages to help older borrowers. The regulator says in a consultation paper that it has found a regulatory barrier to helping older borrowers with maturing interest-only mortgages and those wanting to release equity from homes […]

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Bank of England stats hint at mortgage market improvement

Mortgage and remortgage approvals showed good growth in July after three flat months, according to the latest figures from the Bank of England. The Bank says there were 68,689 house purchase approvals in July, up from 65,318 in June. The figure for May was 65,574 and April 65,140. The value of the July approvals was […]