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Rock may pay proc for remortgages

Lender looks at extending full fee to brokers for refinancing customers.

Northern Rock is planning a major overhaul of its retention strategies which could include extending its full proc fee to remortgage customers.

The UK’s fourth-biggest lender also plans to improve its retention performance for customers who plan to move home from the present figure of under 50 per cent through improved technology and communication with brokers.

It already pays full proc fees to brokers on such cases and says the option of extending that to other product ranges is under review although it already has an 80 per cent retention rate for remortgages.

Spokesman Brian Giles says: “We will seek to improve our processes for homemovers and work better with intermediaries on that. We already pay a proc fee for retaining homemovers and we are keeping that under review for refinancing cases.”

Meanwhile, Cobalt Capital partner Andrew Montlake has complained about HBOS’s retention scheme, criticising the company for failing to assess affordability.

Halifax and BM Solutions do not ask for borrowers’ income and job status on a standard retention case unless the client is extending their borrowing. Montlake believes that lenders should ask these questions to provide consumer protection.

He says Cobalt’s compliance team has contacted HBOS about the matter but has not convinced it to alter its requirements.

Montlake says: “The HBOS retention products do not ask anywhere whether the applicant is still working, their income or if they can afford the loan. They do not credit-score the applicant. Our compliance team have asked for guidance but HBOS is not particularly bothered about it. We would get the blame if something goes wrong but Halifax does not ask the right questions.”

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