Mortgage broker fury as banks hike interest rates on home loans again | Personal Finance | Finance


Britain’s biggest mortgage lender is putting up the price of fixed rate home loans in a “bitter blow” to buyers.

Halifax has warned customers in the mortgage application process that they will need to sign up before the close of business on Tuesday or face an increase of up to 0.2 percent.

The banking giant was the fourth major lender – including NatWest, Santander and the Co-op – to announce increases today.

Mortgage brokers challenged the justification for the increases. They said so-called SWAP rates, which indicate the interest rates financial institutions charge each other for long term loans, have been falling.

Newspage asked mortgage brokers for their reaction to this, and why the mortgage market has started this week on such a dour note.

Justin Moy, Managing Director at EHF Mortgages, said: “This is a bitter blow to borrowers, especially when we are rapidly moving towards the most important time of the year for buying and selling property.”

“Rates need to fall, and fall quickly, to rescue both the economy and property market.”

Katy Eatenton, Mortgage & Protection Specialist at Lifetime Wealth Management, said: “This week hasn’t started how we would have hoped.”

And Stephen Perkins, Managing Director at Yellow Brick Mortgages, said: “It is going to be a busy day for brokers as they scramble to secure rates for their clients.”

Ranald Mitchell, Director at Charwin Private Clients, questioned the justification for the increases, saying: “This latest round of hikes will be viewed as market exploitation by cynics, especially given underlying SWAP market rates appear to be easing down.

“This could be a smash and grab by mortgage providers before a spate of potential rate cuts.”

While Darryl Dhoffer, Adviser at The Mortgage Expert, asked: “Are we missing something here?

“SWAP rates are reducing yet lenders are increasing mortgage rates. There’s no logic to mortgage pricing right now.”

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