James Coney  

Lenders 'cannot be bothered' with difficult buyers

James Coney

James Coney

Really what is going on here is that lenders cannot be bothered. Service levels are already squeezed because of the pandemic and volumes are high. They just do not need the business from some of the more fiddly parts of the economy.

You could call that pragmatism; I call it creating an unsustainable two-tier system.

We need more innovation from lenders, along the lines of Nationwide increasing multiples to 5.5 times income, or TSB, which is offering 10-year fixed rates but with a five-year window to leave without penalty.

This way lenders get the best of both worlds.

Government intervention in housing is not the way to solve affordability issues, rather that must come from lenders. But they need to want to lend money to those with different income criteria.

While the market runs hot, they just cannot be bothered.

Tech woes

IT upgrade disaster: the sequel. You were gobsmacked by TSB, you were stunned by NS&I. Now watch the Pru, whose service levels are in disarray since a new computer system was brought in.

Why do financial services companies struggle so badly to bring in new computer systems? 

Heavens knows why they brought it in during a pandemic.

When savers cannot get their pensions, or even find out how they are valued, then you know something serious is afoot.

So where is the Financial Conduct Authority in all this?

IHT not the problem

I am baffled by the calls for higher rates of inheritance tax following the Institute of Fiscal Studies report, which lays bare how younger generations are more dependent on intergenerational handouts than others before.

Doesn't taxing these more just mean that the younger generations, who need the money the most, will end up with less? That helps no one.

The real issue is the poor growth in real wages, not inheritance.

James Coney is money editor of the Times and Sunday Times