The move comes as the FSA continues to warn lenders that more constraints could be placed on such lending practices. Halifax has put in place stricter loan to value limits for mortgages where it does not usually ask for income verification and is also requiring perfect credit scores.
Employed borrowers will now have to have 85 per cent loan to value and self-employed 65 per cent LTV to stand a chance of the application being processed without income checks. Previously, it was around 90 per cent for both.
A Halifax spokeswoman says: “We have reviewed our income verification process and introduced some changes which have been effective since July 4.”
Money Marketing understands that other lenders may be planning to restrict or even scrap their fast-track facilities but Abbey has denied this and Northern Rock says that its fast-track proposition is “under constant review”.
At a Council of Mortgage Lenders’ conference on Tuesday, FSA director of small firms and contact centre Lesley Titcomb said that over recent years “the line between fast-tracked and self-certification loans became blurred, with some fast-tracked mortgages even marketed with a guarantee that incomes would not be checked”.
She questioned whether income verification should be required for all mortgages.