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New self-cert lender closes to new business

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Written by: Hannah Uttley
25/01/2016
Newly-launched lender SelfCert.co.uk has halted new lending for at least three months as it works through a ‘severe backlog’ of applications.

The lender, which launched just this week, explained in a statement on its website that prospective borrowers had been contacting the firm since reports of the products first surfaced in November. SelfCert.co.uk has around 4,700 enquiries to get through before it can begin lending again.

Launched by founder of Quick Loans Graeme Wingate, SelfCert.co.uk bases its offices in Prague in the Czech Republic, allowing it to circumvent rules imposed by the Mortgage Market Review which saw self-certification mortgages banned in the UK.

The lender currently has up to £50m to lend available for 200 average sized mortgages.

Borrowers are not required to provide income verification for the loans which have a limit of £500,000 and maximum loan-to-value (LTV) of 85%. The company is backed by private investors and does not involve mortgage advisers in the application process.

Despite its mission to help underserved self-employed borrowers, the firm said it will not lend to borrowers living in London. It explained that it was concerned about possible bubbles in the London property market and wanted to ‘exercise caution’ in this area.

A company statement on the website reads: “While we aim to help as many people as we can, we have to be honest in that unless other lenders follow us – this site won’t make any kind of dent in the number of people who want to get on the property ladder and can’t because of a lack of official paperwork.

“Our start-up capital means that we can only provide enough funds for about 200 average mortgages to begin with. We’ve almost had that number register an interest with us before we even launched this site. We are working through this backlog as fast as we can.”

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