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Woolwich looks at booking fees

Woolwich has not ruled out following in the footsteps of Abbey and introducing non-refundable booking fees on its mortgage range.

Last week, Abbey began charging a non-refundable up-front booking fee of £150 in order to guarantee the rate for the borrower. The fee is only refundable if the application is declined by the lender.

A Woolwich spokesman says: “We would not rule it out. We are just going to have to see the impact of this on the market.”

Alliance & Leicester and HBOS claim they have no plans to charge a similar fee.

Nationwide says it refunds borrowers the reservation fee if they want to cancel their application but will not refund valuation fees if the valuation has been carried out.

Hamptons managing director Jonathan Cornell says: “I think more and more lenders will follow. People are starting the remortgage process so much earlier. They can get valuation and legals done and if they pull out it does not cost the borrower anything but it costs lenders if they are not completing these deals.”

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