More brokers searching for self-employed and later life criteria

Michael Lloyd

June 13, 2019

On Knowledge Bank in May there has been a significant rise in the number of brokers searching for lenders that would accept self-employed borrowers and borrowers looking for loans in later life.

The criteria-based sourcing system’s criteria index has found both categories feature in almost every monthly list and the search for loans for self-employed borrowers has been in the top two for 10 out of the past 12 months.

Stretching borrowing limits is one area that has remained constant through the past 12 months and searches on maximum loan-to-value appear in almost every top five list.

Nicola Firth (pictured) chief executive of Knowledge Bank, said: “Every single month in every single product category the list of the most searched for criteria has changed.

“This is remarkable and puts into perspective the challenge that brokers face in finding a home for their client’s borrowing needs.

“For too long now the expectation has been that clients have access to published products but this is simply not the case. Brokers are becoming increasingly aware that it’s no longer about the borrower choosing the lender but the lender choosing the borrower.”

For residential cases, the most searched term was maximum age at end of term, followed by self-employed and maximum age at application, while for buy-to-let the top searches were lending to limited companies, first-time landlord and the requirement to be a homeowner.

For second charges brokers searched for maximum age at end of term the most, followed by mortgage or secured loan in arrears or defaults and maximum LTV.

For equity release it was maximum LTV and affordable housing, while for self-build the most searched terms were first-time buyers and custom build, interest-only during the build.

Furthermore, for bridging the most searched term was maximum LTV, followed by regulated bridging and maximum term of the bridge, while for commercial it was semi-commercial properties, commercial investment properties and maximum LTV for commercial investment properties.

The most searched team for overseas cases was age gap between applicants, expatriates and maximum LTV.

Firth added: “When we’re out and about talking to brokers about Knowledge Bank we very often have conversations with advisers who have started an application for a product only to later find out that their client falls outside of a criteria condition.

“This is hugely frustrating for both broker and client as the search process has to start again, which means delays and disgruntled clients. I believe that it is now imperative that brokers perform a criteria search prior to product sourcing so that the borrower knows the products they actually qualify for.

“Additionally, with ever increasing, and ever-changing regulation it is crucial that brokers can defend their product selection when it is based on criteria restrictions and not price.

“Thankfully this is one problem that has a simple and straightforward solution with the use of a criteria search system like Knowledge Bank.”

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