Anderson HarrisMarket Insight
It can pay to stay
Published: 7th February 2022
This Article was Written by: Adrian Anderson
As independent mortgage brokers who have observed the property market for many years, it’s nice to see lenders recognising the value of their existing customers.
Historically, discounts and highly competitive rates for 2-5 year fixed mortgages were only offered to new potential customers as an enticement to secure their business. It meant the banks’ existing customers coming to the end of a fixed year term often found it better to shop around, than stay with their existing provider.
Fortunately, the long-term value and benefits of a loyal customer are being appreciated by the lenders. In recent years, we’ve seen competitive rates being offered to customers when they come to the end of a fixed term.
Rather than automatically hiking them up, in many cases the banks have offered existing customers the same rates as they would to new customers. In some cases, the rates being offered to existing customers have been more competitively priced than rates to new customers.
More accommodating to changes in circumstances
If you have a good payment track-record on your mortgage and your circumstances change (for example you switch from being employed to self-employed), your current lender is also less likely to put you through a rigorous screening process.
Reduced paperwork and red tape
Another positive for existing customers who choose to stay is a reduction in paperwork and admin when negotiating a product swap or rate switch with their existing provider. In this scenario, lenders are less likely to insist on detailed valuations, lengthy legal documents and detailed evidence to supply for the underwriting process.
This is making product switches and life a lot easier for their customers. It’s also clearly saving time and money for the lenders too, which is possibly why they’ve cottoned on to retaining rather than repelling customers when a fixed-rate term comes to an end.
Do take advantage of your mortgage intermediary being able to compare the options that are available on the open market with the switch option rate you’ve been offered. They should also be able to facilitate a rate switch for you so that you don’t have to deal with the bank.
Making the most of this change in attitude
So, if the fixed rate element of your mortgage is coming to an end soon, or you’re looking to re-mortgage, it’s certainly worth getting in touch with your mortgage intermediary to discuss:
- the lender’s appetite to retain your loyalty, and
- to compare this option with what’s available on the open market.
At Anderson Harris, we’ve been helping our customers do just that. It means we can facilitate the product switch with your existing provider swiftly, if it is going to be the best option for you, and with minimal fuss to you in the process.
If your circumstances have changed it’s pleasing to see that the prospect of staying with your existing lender should be more positive than it would have been circa 3-4 years ago.
A final plea
It’s wonderful that the lenders are recognising the value of retaining existing clients. To make it even easier for existing customers to stay, it would be good to see lenders extending the time when customers can start discussions about product transfers or rate switching.
Unlike new customers, who are given a mortgage offer guaranteed for 6 months, existing customers can only enter into discussions with their providers 3 months before their current rate is due to expire.
Hopefully lenders will soon appreciate this challenge and even the playing field for all concerned.
Can we help?
If you are coming to the end of your fixed-rate contract at any point in 2022, or are looking to re-mortgage, do contact our team of specialists. They can help you secure a competitive rate for the years ahead.
Call our team of specialists on tel. 020 7495 6633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org