Nationwide U-turns on ‘bizarre’ income verification stance

Nationwide has U-turned on its unpopular stance on SA302s and now no longer requires a covering letter from HMRC for self-employed income verification.

Lenders have increasingly started to use the self-assessment tax calculation, or SA302 form, to verify income for self-employed borrowers. While paper copies are still available from HMRC, in January the Revenue announced changes to allow customers to print off the same information as the paper versions directly from its website.

But until now Nationwide required a covering letter alongside the SA302 form. Brokers said its stance was “bizarre” and that it caused delays in the mortgage process.

A spokeswoman says: “We have reviewed our requirements in response to the recent changes by HMRC to the documents they provide for self-employed customers who self-assess. As a result, we can confirm that where applicants self-assess and submit their tax returns online, an HMRC cover letter will no longer be required alongside the online tax calculation forms; instead an online tax year overview is required. The latest two years’ tax calculations will however still be required.

“Additionally our policy on requesting accountant’s certificates has not changed and these remain an acceptable proof.”

Meanwhile, Nationwide is set to reduce selected two-year trackers by up to 0.25 per cent for existing customers looking for a new deal.

The biggest cuts are to a pair of 85 per cent LTV two-year trackers, which will be cut by 0.25 per cent to 2.24 per cent and 2.64 per cent. The former has a fee of £999 while the latter has no fee.

The mutual will also reduce two 60 per cent LTV two-year trackers, both by 5 basis points. They will be available at 1.19 per cent and 1.59 per cent. The former has a £999 fee while the latter has no fee.

The cuts will be made on 25 March.

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