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Lenders urged to back 24-hour product withdrawal pledge

Mortgage brokers are trying to get lenders to sign up to a 24-hour Product Withdrawal Pledge in efforts to keep the home loan market moving and avert a housing market slump.

Brokers Riz Malik, Lewis Shaw and Jamie Lennox have launched the campaign calling for more notice of withdrawals after lenders such as Nationwide and HSBC have begun removing mortgage products at the last minute amid concerns about rising swap rates and a likely future rise in the cost of borrowing.

This is hitting borrowers, making it hard to secure a mortgage or decision in principle when rates are changing so rapidly.


Fintech mortgage lender MPowered Mortgages is among the first to back the pledge, with certain caveats though.

Stuart Cheetham, chief executive of mortgages at MPowered Mortgages, said:  “The topic of product withdrawals is top of mind for brokers, and understandably so. As a lender that prides itself on working with brokers to create the best outcomes for their customers, we wanted to put our head above the parapet and share our perspective on this as a lender.   

“We are dedicated to supporting brokers and consumer outcomes and will endeavour to give as much notice as possible in every case. In 95% of cases, we are able to offer advanced notice and we understand brokers are regularly communicating with customers at a variety of different stages.”

However, Cheetham explained that there are a “specific set of circumstances” where we may not be able to oblige to too much notice.  

He added: “As a lender, when there is a large movement in swap rates, we need to make a call as to how we react. This will inevitably depend on how much volume we are originating, how quickly we think any remaining hedge will last, what the cost of that new hedge will be and, of course, how any withdrawal will impact our brokers. 

"Lenders have a regulatory and legal duty to act responsibly to protect their business, customers and the industry as whole. The key is minimising the impact on borrowers and brokers in the market, and this is why we welcome this initiative.  

If lenders were to guarantee notice periods, this would inevitably lead to new and higher costs, particularly when rates are rising, and this would almost certainly mean higher mortgage rates for borrowers, something that lenders industry-wide are trying to avoid. 

“We would implore all brokers to keep an eye on the swap rates to position themselves at an advantage and continue to offer the best advice to their customers, which we know they are so dedicated to do.”


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