Lloyds suspends all international mortgage lending

Lloyds Banking Group has suspended its international mortgage lending activities and has immediately stopped accepting applications and refused all active applications while it conducts a review of its lending operations, FTAdviser can reveal.

A spokesperson for the bank confirmed to FTAdviser that it will refuse any applications which are already in process but not yet legally binding and has already stopped accepting applications pending the conclusion of a review, which is due to report by the end of the year.

Prospective clients calling Lloyds to enquire about mortgages in the United States are being told the bank is experiencing “operational issues” and are not able to accept applications.

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For clients enquiring about mortgages in France, the bank is saying the “operational issues” mean new applications could take three to four weeks.

A spokesperson for Lloyds said: “Our acceptance criteria for new business are subject to regular review and we are currently reviewing this product to determine whether it meets the group’s current lending appetite and criteria.

“Once this review has concluded, we will begin accepting new applications again.”

It is understood that the review could take until the end of the year. At time of writing, Lloyds could not reveal the number of applications that will be affected.

According to Paul Slater, an IFA at network Positive Solutions, Lloyds is refunding fees for applications it will no longer process. One of Mr Slater’s clients has had two applications cancelled by the bank.

Mr Slater said: “Their only explanation is that Hong Kong has some operating issues and that was description. They said if he wants to sit tight they may have a proposition in a couple of months.

“I have never experienced anything like this in 20 years in the industry.”

This was after Lloyds had told him his client’s cases had been “signed off by credit and risk management”.

Mr Slater claimed a Lloyds representative had told him his client’s mortgage had been agreed but that the loan would not be forthcoming because the bank had pulled its international proposition.

He said: “The day after they told my client they weren’t going to lend him a penny, he got a package in the post with a new bank account and a debit card to pay his mortgage.”