Nationwide joins forces with MoD’s Help to Buy

Ms Pearce said: “Armed forces personnel often face great challenges in securing a settled home of their own.

“Nationwide is committed to making a difference to those who wish to step on or up the housing ladder, supporting those in the armed forces wishing to make the transition from base to private living.”

The scheme allows servicemen to borrow an advance of their pay up to £25,000 or 50 per cent of their salary, whichever is lower, from the MoD on the condition it is used as a deposit for a property purchase.

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It can also be used if a home has to be extended or altered due to changed family or medical circumstances.

It replaces the former MoD long service advance-of-pay scheme for military personnel and is also available through Halifax, Barclays and Kensington.

In September 2013, Gordon Ede, partner of Hampshire-based adviser and mortgage broker GDC Associates, said he had encountered significant problems on five mortgage applications through Nationwide for serving Gurkha clients.

These included demands for six months’ worth of bank statements from Nepal for one case, to proof of a work permit for another client, despite him being an active serviceman.

Adviser view

David Whittaker, managing director of Kent-based Mortgages for Business, said: “In a year when we reflect on the sacrifice of two different generations in the fields of Flanders and on the beaches of Normandy, it is fitting that Nationwide nails its colours to the mast and leads the way in supporting service personnel in their home-ownership aspirations; granting them the same products as the general public is a positive first step.

“The mortgage industry’s service record in this arena has not been good and the continuingly hostile approach to British Forces Post Office addresses as a compliance issue by many lenders is shameful and unbecoming to the young men and women who put their lives on the line for the rest of society.”