View more on these topics

Stuart Gregory: Forces Help to Buy – friend or foe?


I don’t know about you but if I see another article about the MMR I may scream – or at least use the executive stressball I picked up at a seminar earlier this year.

I want to talk about a new lending scheme, which arrived pretty much under the radar: the Forces Help to Buy scheme.

Launched in April, its arrival was overlooked at the time, probably during the lead-in to the MMR. Oh no – I mentioned it. Apologies.

The Forces Help to Buy scheme was designed to replace the LSAP (Long Service Advance of Pay) scheme, where applicants within the armed forces could apply for up to £9,000 to assist them with a new mortgage.

The new scheme allows applicants to achieve a deposit of up to 50 per cent of their annual salary, which they then repay over a 10-year period through their payroll system.

The idea of this scheme is to help armed forces personnel onto the housing ladder.

But I have spotted a flaw – at least in the approach from participating lenders.

In certain areas of the country, where higher house prices have an effect, the maximum amount on offer of £25,000 may not be enough to provide a deposit acceptable to a lender. 

As a result, even with this scheme, some armed forces personnel may not be able to get onto the property ladder. 

Some participating lenders require a 10 per cent deposit so if you are buying a property worth more than £250,000 with the maximum support under the scheme, it will not necessarily work for you.

So how can it be that a member of the general public can apply for the Government’s standard Help to Buy scheme with a 5 per cent deposit – and have a selection of lenders to choose from – but a member of our brave armed forces could find themselves in the position where they have to top up the Forces Help to Buy scheme deposit?

I experienced this first-hand with clients recently. Luckily, a lender was available to assist the client, allowing them to proceed with a 5 per cent deposit as first-time buyers using the Forces Help to Buy scheme.

You will not find many lenders which offer the standard Help to Buy scheme offering those same deals to Forces Help to Buy clients. You may be looking at a 10 per cent deposit in many cases to allow them to proceed.

I do not see the lenders involved supporting the scheme in the right way; they should be offering specific deals for Forces Help to Buy. Lenders, treat our armed forces fairly, please.

Stuart Gregory is managing director of Lentune Mortgage Consultancy



Neil Liversidge: Taken hostage in the name of advice

In my March column I advised you to paint your risk warnings with a four-inch brush.  Adam Samuel’s superb Better Business article in recent weeks warned of the dangers rich clients pose, which brought to mind a rich former client of mine with whom, thank goodness, I followed my own mantra to the letter.  In 2008 […]


Skipton sells HML for £47m

Skipton Building Society has sold its mortgage servicing arm Homeloan Management Limited for an initial sum of £47.5m. The deal will see HML, which Skipton set up 26 years ago, sold to Australian listed firm Computershare, subject to regulatory approval. Computershare is a global business based in 18 countries, and offers share registration, employee equity […]


Banks’ bill for missold PPI hits over £20bn

High street banks have set aside a further £1.5bn to compensate customers missold payment protection insurance, taking their total PPI redress bill to over £20bn. According to Sky News, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland will announce their extra PPI provisions in their half-year results next week. To date, Lloyds, Barclays and […]


Mark Dampier: First State Asia Pacific Leaders

Asia always excites investors. It is home to some of the most dynamic economies in the world and given the outstanding, albeit volatile, long-term performance of its stockmarkets, it is no wonder it continues to spark interest. It is always refreshing to hear an honest and balanced view on Asian equities. I can usually rely on the […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm