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Industry News

Stonebridge boosts staff

Stonebridge Group, the Essex-based mortgage and insurance network, has boosted its head count and upped sticks from Hockley to larger offices in Basildon.

Swansea most affordable for second steppers

Swansea is the most affordable place in the UK for second stepper couples looking to buy their first family home, with the average price of a house only 9.6% more than the average price of a flat, research by reveals.

Borro chief promises fully compliant ads

Borro chief executive and founder Paul Aitken has vowed to ensure all of the firms’ future marketing and communications are fully compliant after the firm had one of its TV ads branded “frivolous” and banned by the Advertising Standards...

Lending Wizard's £2m secured loan

The Lending Wizard, the loan sourcing portal for brokers from Freedom Finance, has secured one of the biggest loans in UK history in a £2m deal.

Interest rate rises getting closer

Two members of the Bank of England's MPC voted to raise UK interest rates in August, the first time there has been a split on the MPC since July 2011.

Half of homeowners unconcerned by looming rate rise

With a consensus that the first Bank of England base rate rise since July 2007 is drawing ever closer on the horizon, around half (51%) of UK homeowners are unconcerned about a rate rise.

Household debt is ticking time bomb

Over-indebted households pose a systemic threat to the sustainability of the UK's economic recovery according to the latest research on consumer credit trends.

Gross mortgage lending up in July

The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates that gross mortgage lending reached £19.1 billion in July - 7% higher than June (£17.9bn), 15% higher than July last year (£16.7bn) and the highest monthly figure since August 2008 (£19.3 bn).

Igoe to Midlands as First Complete’s Neal resigns

First Complete’s regional sales manager for the Midlands Jason Neale has resigned, leaving Martin Igoe to take over at the end of the month, writes Ryan Bembridge.

Average retirement now lasts 20 years

People turning 65 in 2014 should expect to live on average until nearly 85, analysis from Prudential reveals.

Auction values reach new high

Reduced stock is being blamed for a sharp increase in the average value of repossessed properties being sold at auction, rising to £137,754,000 in the last twelve months.

Coventry Intermediaries launch 90pc LTV deals

Coventry Intermediaries has launched a Flexx for Term with fixed rate options available at up to 90% LTV.

Bank of Scotland unfairly double billed customers

Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has called on banks to clarify how many customers in the North have been double charged after falling behind on their mortgages after a High Court judge in Belfast ruled Bank of Scotland had been unfairly double...

Accord launch buy-to-let deals

Accord Buy To Let has launched a grange of mortgage products aimed at borrowers looking to invest in properties.

Broker confidence remains high

Confidence about the mortgage market’s health remains high amongst mortgage intermediaries despite a small decrease in the overall index score, the latest results from NatWest Intermediary Solutions’ Mortgage Intermediary Market Confidence...

House prices up 10.2pc

UK average house prices increased by 10.2% over the year to June 2014, down from an increase of 10.4% in the year to May 2014 with London accounting for the main drive with prices increasing 19.3% over the year, figures from the Office of...

FCA bans Abdul Razzaq from FS industry

The Financial Conduct Authority has today banned Abdul Razzaq, a former mortgage adviser and insurance broker, from working in the financial services industry.

Inflation falls to 1.6pc

The UK inflation rate has fallen to 1.6% from 1.9% in July as the Office of National Statistics reported the cost of clothing, footwear, food and non-alcoholic drinks had slowed.

Nearly one in three forced to borrow from family

Nearly a third of UK adults have been forced to borrow money from family members and one in 10 families are skipping meals and selling valuables as a result of higher household and living costs, research from Scottish Widows shows.

Asking prices down as market slows

The average asking price of newly-marketed property across England and Wales is down by 2.9% (-£7,758) this month compared to last, figures from Rightmove show.

Nationwide reports fall in mortgage lending

Nationwide today reported a fall in mortgage lending as the Mortgage Market Review took hold but profits at the society soared by 141% in the three month from April to June 2014.

Four out of five FTBs confident

Nearly four in five (78%) first time buyers are confident they can get on the housing ladder within the next twelve months, research from reveals.

Debt and equity crowdfunding platform launches

Funding Tree launched today, the world's first equity and debt crowdfunding platform.

Scotland rental market makes sharp return

Average private rents in Scotland are up 10% against last month compared to 4.4% rise across the UK, latest data from the HomeLet Rental Index reveals.

DC Law launches conveyancing training academy

The DC Law Training Academy has been launched by the conveyancing arm of Move with Us to tackle the shortage of conveyancers in the current market which is leading to delays in the house moving process.

Stonebridge adopts CIExpert

Stonebridge group will offer critical illness knowledge base CIExpert to its advisers from today.

CII launch mortgage Level 4 Qualification

The Chartered Insurance Institute havs launched a QCF Level 4 certificate in advanced mortgage advice.

Family BS links to help later life planning

The Family Building Society has linked up with four partner firms to offer advice to members on Later Life Planning.

LendInvest joins the Big 4 of UK peer-to-peer lending

LendInvest, the peer-to-peer mortgage lender, has now completed over £100m of investment in mortgages through its platform.

Blacks Connect team up with TFC

Blacks Connect is now the new preferred legal partner for TFC Homeloans, the Warrington-based mortgage distributor.

July housing confidence stable

Consumer confidence in the housing market has remained stable in July after falling by eight points to -12% in June, Lloyds Bank data has shown.

Rents grow alongside sales market

UK rents have increased by 6.56% year-on-year to July, amounting to growth of £62 per month, Move With Us has revealed in its latest rental index.

Half of aspiring homeowners puzzled by MMR

Just half (51%) of aspiring homeowners are aware of the Mortgage Market Review, research from TSB has revealed.

SPECIAL FEATURE: House builders struggle to rally

Ahead of UK house builders Bovis Homes and Persimmon announcing its latest financial results on the 18th and 19th August, Michael Hewson chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, analyses the housing market and the changes following...

Barclays cuts rates

Barclays is today launching new and reduced mortgage rates by up to 0.20% for high LTV, which will support first time buyers and those customers with a smaller deposit.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Why property demand is decreasing

People are being forced to sit tight in the hope that properties will become more affordable, writes Andrew Boast, co-founder of


I know there will be some individuals out there who believe paying tax is what other people do when they don’t have the money to employ experts, accountants and advisers who can find ways to avoid it, writes Emma Coffey, business...

Virgin Money cuts rates

Virgin Money has announced reductions to selected fixed rate and tracker products within its buy-to-let and residential mortgage ranges.

Bank of England hits out at Scots rumours

The Bank of England has hit out at spurious claims made by the Finance Secretary of the Scottish Government that “technical discussions” had been held between officials of the Scottish Government and the Bank of England.

CML: Arrears and repossessions decline

The number of mortgage holders faced with arrears and repossessions continued to fall in Q2 2014, data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders has revealed.

Shawbrook appoints new lending manager

Shawbrook Bank has appointed Kynan Benjamin as a lending manager in the commercial mortgages short term loan team.

Halifax Intermediaries cuts mortgage rates

Halifax Intermediaries has cut rates by 0.30% across its two-year mortgage product range and will provide first-time buyers with £500 cashback.

Brokers focus on quality over quantity

Mortgage brokers are focusing on securing high quality deals to ensure applications run smoothly the first time around, research jointly conducted by SimplyBiz Mortgages and Natwest Intermediary Solutions has revealed.

HML: Greater London to be repossession hotspot

Greater London will see the most repossessions regionally in the second half of 2014, HML has predicted.

SortRefer appoints operations manager

SortRefer has appointed Annabel Halhead as operations manager.

EXCLUSIVE: Property investment firms will go bust

Property expert Kate Faulkner has warned against recklessly investing in property as an alternative to a pension, warning some firms will go bust, writes Ryan Bembridge.

Post-MMR July best for mortgage lending since 2007

Last month was the most successful July for mortgage lending in seven years with 66,279 house purchase approvals being recorded, e.surv’s latest Mortgage Monitor has revealed.

Cirencester Friendly launches IP to boost flexibility

Cirencester Friendly has launched “My Earnings Insurance” – a product which it hails as a “new concept in income protection insurance”, writes Robyn Hall.

Interest rate rise some way off

A rise in interest rates appears to be still some way off after Bank of England governor Mark Carney said that there were still “a lot of uncertainties to contend with”.

FCA: Firms must do more

Promotions for some financial products are still falling short of the FCA’s rules and firms need to do more to ensure that their ads are not misleading consumers, the regulator warned today.

Leeds unveils 5-year fixes

Leeds has launched two 5-year fixed rate mortgages, which will be available from tomorrow.

Mortgage Brain hosts Mortgage Vision events

Mortgage Brain will host its 2014 series of Mortgage Vision events with speakers from the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries and Nationwide.