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Mortgage advisers warn of business failures

Lloyds Banking Group — which includes Halifax, Scottish Widows and BM Solutions and is the UK’s largest lender — has capped its maximum lending at 60 per cent LTV while Vida Homeloans and Together Money have halted all new mortgage lending.

Nationwide and HSBC have pulled all their tracker mortgage products from the market.

Despite the doom and gloom, Nick Morrey, product technical manager at broker network John Charcol, said there was an opportunity for brokers to extend into other areas.

He said: “All that’s left is second-charge lending, remortgages, product transfers and bridging loans, so brokers need to concentrate on those areas and make sure they can advise those consumers.”

Mr Stewart said much of the industry would remain resilient: “People mocked the aged broker with grey hair and varicose veins but right now they are sitting pretty with large client banks, well-capitalised businesses and all the experience and level-headedness required to navigate the storm.”

Brokers nonetheless predicted house prices would tumble over the next few months. Mr White said prices could decline if people lost jobs and tried to sell their houses to raise cash — meaning there would be plenty of sellers — but demand would reduce as uncertainty stopped buyers from making the jump.

Mr Morrey said this gave brokers with “brave purchasers”  a chance to help such buyers “trade up”.

He said: “The higher priced property will drop more in value pound-wise, so brokers really want to be adept to different ways to fund those sort of transactions, whether that be bridging loans or let-to-buy decisions.”

Mr Lakey also saw opportunities for brokers and lenders to stay afloat, or capitalise, on the current market. He predicted equity release would become more popular as some consumers looked for ways to raise cash.

“With the equity release age starting at 55, people who are working and who have a mortgage could think ‘how am I going to pay for that?’.

“As consumers will see that as a way forward, brokers should make sure they can advise on it.”

imogen.tew@ft.com

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