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Ipswich BS offers help to ‘mortgage misfits’

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Ipswich Building Society has launched a new programme targeting ‘mortgage misfits’ who are unable access finance at other lenders.


The Suffolk-based mutual said it believed a large number of people have been let down other lenders since the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review regulations last April. The new rules require banks and building societies to ask more rigorous questions about affordability.

Now Ipswich plans to use ‘transitional arrangements’ to help existing mortgage holders who do not meet the new affordability rules.

While all lenders are able to offer help to such borrowers, most choose not to offer such deals to the wider market.

Ipswich said it will consider all cases as long as the borrower is not increasing their loan and their circumstances have not changed since the initial loan. All of its remortgage and house purchase products will be offered to these borrowers.

Paul Winter, chief executive of Ipswich Building Society, said: “We are standing up for mortgage misfits who are often overlooked by lenders who insist on machine-only application processes. It is possible to still give people a choice while retaining a diligent approach to lending.

“I’m aware that some lenders do not offer transitional arrangements to their existing borrowers, let alone new applicants, and I believe the sector should consider its responsibilities to existing borrowers who have consistently made their mortgage repayments and who otherwise would be classed as ‘good customers’.”

Winter urged other providers to follow Ipswich’s lead and prevent borrowers from falling through the cracks.

“Speaking to the financial services sector, I would urge my peers at other lenders to think about making the mortgage market work more effectively for mortgage misfits by offering choices for those who fall outside the norm,” he added.

“Our advantage as a mutual, and as a business which takes a human-centered approach to verifying income, means we can continue to operate in the best interests of our members and future members.”

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