News in brief w/e 2 March 2018

- OneSavings Bank revamps ICR requirements

OneSavings Bank has simplified its buy-to-let interest coverage ratio (ICR) requirements for its InterBay Commercial and Kent Reliance brands.

The simplification could potentially allow customers to borrow more against their buy-to-let property.

OneSavings Bank sales director, Adrian Moloney said: “Not only will these changes simplify the buy to let loan process and improve understanding amongst our brokers and their clients, but this simplification could also mean the opportunity for landlords to borrow more should they need to."

A summary of the simplified approach is outlined below:
• 140% ICR requirement for an individual with standard BTL property
• 160% ICR requirement for an individual with specialist BTL property
• 125% ICR requirement for a limited company with standard BTL property
• 145% ICR requirement for a limited company with specialist BTL property

- Connect for Intermediaries launches new tools for brokers

Connect for Intermediaries has launched a brand-new website,, to make it easier and quicker for brokers to search for lender’s products, without having to visit their individual websites.

The website also includes tools and expert guides not commonly available to brokers as well as a repayment calculator, stamp-duty calculator and a rental calculator.

Connect for Intermediaries CEO, Liz Syms commented: “We spent some months finding out what tools a broker would find most helpful when doing their job, particularly when placing more complex or specialist mortgage cases. All of these we have included on our website as a free range of tools and information.”

- Newbury Building Society joins Legal & General Mortgage Club

Newbury Building Society has joined Legal & General Mortgage Club as of 26 February 2018.

The new partnership will allow the building society to benefit from the society’s history knowledge and have access to a variety of mortgage products, such as buy-to-let mortgages, self-build, shared-ownership and residential mortgages.

Newbury Building Society lending manager Roger Knight said: “We are delighted to join Legal & General Mortgage Club as we continue to develop our relationship with our already blossoming intermediary network. We believe our flexibility and wealth of experience will help both members and their customers, as we work closely together to help members understand our criteria and product range.”

- Landbay offer HMO product range

Landbay, a specialist buy-to-let lender, has launched a new range of buy-to-let products with a specific focus on improving its HMO offering as of 26 February 2018.

With the introduction of Landbay’s new product range, small HMO’s will be treated as standard properties and the minimum loan value has been reduced to £120,000.

Landbay managing director of intermediaries Paul Brett commented: “HMOs can offer extremely attractive rental yields, but letting out one property to multiple tenants does come with its complexities. That doesn’t however mean the lending criteria always needs to be, especially when managed by a specialist lender.

“Landlords have had a job on their hands coming to terms with recent tax and regulatory reform, and many experienced investors have been reviewing their portfolios, increasingly looking to HMOs to boost rental income and protect profits. I hope these changes will be well received by any broker with a HMO case to place."

- Psigma launches ‘best of breed’ strategy for institutional investors

Psigma Investment Management has launched a fixed interest strategy, named ‘Psigma Fixed Interest Portfolio’, with the aim of delivering a net return of between 4 to 5% per annum by investing across sovereign debt, investment grade and high yield bond markets.

Psigma senior investment director for charities and pension investments, Andrew Wauchope said: “By creating an actively managed and globally diversified portfolio with a return target significantly higher than current inflation rates, we believe the Psigma Fixed Interest Portfolio is an attractive solution.”

- Scottish Widows introduces retirement portfolio funds for drawdown

Scottish Widows has designed and released four multi-asset retirement portfolio funds targeted at customers considering or already taking withdrawals using income through their Scottish Widows retirement account.

The firm has said that “the funds are designed to reduce the risk of capital losses for drawdown customers during volatile markets by using a Dynamic Volatility Management (DVM) process that maintains full exposure to equity growth opportunities, unless volatility becomes significant, and then exposure is reduced temporarily”.

- TMA Club has refreshed its Specialist Lending Panel for 2018

TMA Club’s specialist lending panel has been refreshed for 2018 with the intent of giving advisers access to a range of second charge mortgages, residential and buy-to-let packages, commercial mortgages and bridging loans.

The new panel now includes Complete FS, Crystal Mortgages, The Loans Engine, Vantage Finance and Watts Commercial. CSC Loans, Manor Mortgages, Positive Lending, TBMC and TFC Homeloans have remained on the panel.

TMA senior product and business manager Rob McCoy commented: “We are committed to providing our members a varied choice. Throughout 2017 we identified various partners that we felt would enhance our offering in these diverse areas of the market and be able to provide our brokers and their customers with the right products for them.”

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