Mortgage applications can get delayed by bank statement ‘jokes’

Ryan Bembridge

July 16, 2018

House buyers’ mortgage applications can be delayed or reportedly turned down if they have misleading jokes on their bank statements.

Last month The Sun reported that in one case a customer was rejected due to using ‘inappropriate language’ on the reference when making online banking payments.

David Hollingworth, director of communications at L&C Mortgages, said it could indeed delay things. However this is more down to lenders not knowing what the payments are rather than policing customers’ use of language.

He said: “I have seen an example where a lender queried what payments were for – however once it was cleared up it didn’t prove a problem for the case.

“It wasn’t declined but it did result in a delay because the lender didn’t know what it was and wanted to make sure it wasn’t a commitment.

“If you’ve got a cryptic or rude message then a lender is going to ask ‘what is this?’”

He’s also heard talk of people making payments to ‘Uncle William Hill’ – potentially indicating that the customer is a gambler.

Hollingworth suspects other factors are involved if an applicant with jokey payments on their bank statement gets turned down.

He added: “It’s unlikely to prove fatal to the case. I don’t think lenders are trying to act as moral compasses on the language used but they will want to understand the shape of the customer’s finances.

“If you’ve got other things where the case is right on the edge and the underwriter looks and sees jokey payment references it could affect things.”

Rob Ashley-Roche, principal of Rest Assured Mortgages, thinks it’s unlikely a lender would turn down a perfectly good case due to some rude words.

He said: “The ones I see is lads going on holiday together who put ‘penis enlargement pills’. I see it all the time and to be honest I do it with my mates.

“HSBC is the only lender I’ve seen list things on bank statements anyway. I’ve had one from them come back with something like ‘big d**k dildo’.

“The lender came back to me but it didn’t delay the application because there were other questions anyway.”

The majority of brokers contacted hadn’t experienced a case that was delayed or declined due to this issue – indicating that such cases are rare.

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