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Email Mortgages urges UK banks to copy Irish innovation

Email Mortgages is urging UK lenders to launch more innovative products to aid potential homeowners similar to those offered in the Republic of Ireland.

Email Mortgages points to a particular product, the ‘Secure Step Mortgage’ offered by RBS’ Ulster Bank but only to Irish customers. The product is available to both first-time and second-time buyers and allows borrowing up to 95 per cent loan to value.

The product, provided in conjunction with a number of property developers, is unique in that it protects the customer should the value of the house fall by up to 15 per cent after five years. If the property does decrease in value by this amount, the developer will refund the amount of the fall, up to 15 per cent of the original purchase price, with any refund due will be used to reduce the mortgage.

Email Mortgages chief executive Michael White says: “First-time buyers in particular would see great benefit in a product such as Ulster Bank’s ‘Secure Step Mortgage’ however it is not available to British customers at all. It seems particularly rich given the huge amount of State Support its parent company RBS has received from the British taxpayer that only Republic of Ireland customers are benefiting from this type of product.

“It is now obvious that many institutions are not willing to throw their more innovative products into the marketplace.

“Government calls for increased lending to individuals and businesses seem to have gone unheeded and the dearth of new mortgage products which are specifically aimed at the first-time buyer is proof that many lenders have no intention of increasing their levels of lending.

“This situation needs to be rectified and we believe those banks who have taken taxpayers’ money should be leading the charge in delivering greater access to mortgage finance.”


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