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Bolton claims 80% of HBOS loans had no proof of income

Former HBOS mortgage chief Michael Bolton has claimed that up to 80 per cent of mortgages lent by the group before the credit crunch were accep- ted without proof of income.

Bolton, who was managing director of BM Solutions, says: “HBOS had five brands, all offering products without proof of income. It was offering a lot of self-cert, a lot of buy to let that needed no proof of income and a lot of Halifax’s mortgages were ‘non-verified income’ loans, which was essentially fast track.

“Before the credit crunch, as much as 80 per cent of HBOS’ loans were going through without full proof of income.”

The 2007 prospectus literature for one of HBOS’s master trusts says: “During 2001, [HBOS] introduced a new automated system whereby the majority of mortgages are underwritten at the point of sale and do not make use of the traditional system of full evaluation by an underwriter.”

Halifax would not comment directly on the issue but a spokesman says: “Our underwriting approach is carried out in a responsible manner. We have one of the best underwriting approaches within the mortgage market.”

John Charcol senior technical manager Ray Boulger says: “A lot of mainstream HBOS loans were fast-tracked in the past, it went further than most lenders in that area of the market so I would not be surprised if 80 per cent were without full income verification.”

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