Regulator warns borrowers over ‘self-cert’ lender
UK watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has advised consumers to only deal with authorised firms, noting that a ‘self-cert’ mortgage lender had been providing financial services or products in the UK without its authorisation.
Self-cert mortgages – where the borrower states their income without having to give proof – are banned in the UK but Unemployed Loans, part of www.self-cert.co.uk is based in the Czech Republic.
The lender, advertising loans to the unemployed with the slogan ‘No job, not a problem’ has been highlighted as operating without authorisation.
On its website, Unemployed Loans states: “We are not based in the UK, by being based abroad we are able to make our own decisions. One of those decisions is to bring back self cert mortgages.”
The loan company is part of a network of sites which includes www.selfcert.co.uk which offers mortgages with no income checks and is affiliated to short-term lender, Quick Loans.
Quick Loans founder Graeme Wingate told sister title Mortgage Solutions that Unemployed Loans had not started to contact any customers yet because it was waiting for FCA permission to trade.
If approved, he said the firm would operate inside the UK. The loans will be offered to customers intending to go back to work, and when asked about proof, Wingate said ‘we’ll have to take their word for it’.
Affordability checks have become mandatory in the UK since 2014.