Buy-to-let  

Lender makes ‘full return’ to mortgage market

Lender makes ‘full return’ to mortgage market
 Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Vida Homeloans has returned to the intermediary mortgage market with a “full suite” of residential and buy-to-let mortgage products.

The specialist lender has also introduced extra criteria for customers affected by furlough, payment holidays or bounce back loans.

A buy-to-let applicant who has taken a payment holiday, for example, must have finished the holiday, with evidence of at least one payment made via their most recent mortgage or bank statement.

Louisa Sedgwick, managing director mortgages at Vida Homeloans, said: “The pandemic has been a challenging time for everyone. For the growing number of borrowers who no longer meet the strict criteria of high-street lenders, their financial futures may feel even more uncertain.

“Our new products and renewed focus on this group of people will enable more of Britain’s borrowers to find a safe place to call home.”

In March Vida Homeloans temporarily halted accepting any new loan applications, as valuers were unable to carry out physical property valuations as a result of the coronavirus.

Having returned to the market, the lender also said it had “simplified” its product structure, such as offering a ‘fee-saver’ equivalent for residential products, whereby borrowers can opt for a free standard valuation and no product fee.

Vida’s return follows the launch of its AI chatbot designed to help intermediaries find information about products and criteria.

The lender said it plans to reduce time to offer and use digital data to minimise the need for advisers to rekey information.

Ms Sedgwick added: “We remain 100 per cent committed to the intermediary market, and our ongoing investment in technology is specifically designed to improve the mortgage journey for intermediaries and their clients.

“We also plan to develop new, innovative products that work for the challenges posed by the complexity of life today, including the launch of an end-to-end mortgage platform built around mortgage advisers.”

Martin Reynolds, chief executive at SimplyBiz Mortgages, commented: “It has been well documented the challenges that the specialist market has faced during the last few months. I have been very impressed with the way that Vida have been very transparent about their plans and how they were working through this period.

“It is therefore really positive to see them re-launch their new product range with the wide-ranging criteria, support and product pricing that we have come to expect from them. The market and our members will welcome the opportunity to re-engage with them.”

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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