Mortgages  

Kensington reviews policies in moderisation drive

Kensington reviews policies in moderisation drive

Kensington has reviewed its lending policies for older borrowers and updated its systems, including a move to paperless application processing.

Intermediaries are now able to scan and upload all documents directly onto the lender’s online portal, helping to streamline mortgage applications by cutting out postal delivery times.

For older borrowers, income requirements have been clarified, to make it clear that the lender is still able to lend up to the age of 75 at the end of the term and where a customer is borrowing beyond the age of 70 or their anticipated retirement age, whichever is the earliest, future retirement income will need to be evidenced.

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The maximum age at application for customers who wish to borrow beyond the age of 70, or their anticipated retirement age, is 55.

Meanwhile, on buy-to-let there has also been a revision to requirements for applicants, with clearer definitions to help brokers.

Buy-to-let applicants must now be an existing residential homeowner for the past 12 months, unless they have owned four or more investment properties for longer than 12 months. Also, a minimum income is only required for applicants who do not currently own a buy-to-let property.

Finally, for self-employed customers who choose to support their application with verified accounts, Kensington has expanded the number of accountants and book-keeping professional bodies from which it can consider verification.

There are now eight acceptable professional bodies, including the Institute of Financial Accountants, Association of Authorised Public Accountants and Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Steve Griffiths, head of sales and distribution at Kensington, said that they recognise that real life is not always straightforward, so policy and processes are made as easy as possible for intermediaries.

“All of our lending policy is available for brokers to read online and, with paperless application processing, it is now possible for a broker to submit a full application to Kensington without going near a post box.”

Jane King, a mortgage consultant at Ash-Ridge Private Finance, commented: “This is good news from Kensington but they are only now catching up with the major lenders who have been paperless for several years now.

“Nevertheless it will no doubt save a lot of time an lost documentation.”

peter.walker@ft.com