Back to April 2020

Leeds Building Society reaffirms support for homeowners wanting to switch mortgage

Society confims product transfers available to borrowers benefitting from payment holidays

Leeds Building Society has reaffirmed its commitment to help existing customers move to an alternative mortgage product when their initial deal expires.

Product transfers are also available to borrowers currently benefitting from other support the Society is offering during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as mortgage payment holidays.

Leeds Building Society was among the first to sign up to a voluntary agreement* among lenders in 2018 to help borrowers ineligible to move from their existing product because stricter mortgage affordability criteria had been introduced after they completed their home loan.

Since making that voluntary commitment, the Society has continued to work with existing customers to ensure they are aware of the mortgage options open to them, including product transfers, so they are on the most appropriate deal.

“We’re happy to reaffirm our support for borrowers wanting to switch mortgage, and to restate our backing for the industry agreement advocated by UK Finance, the BSA (Building Societies Association) and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association,” said Richard Fearon, Chief Executive Officer at Leeds Building Society.

“When we signed up to the voluntary agreement in summer 2018, we’d already implemented all of the steps required of lenders and any of our borrowers on a reversionary rate can switch to another product, as long as they’re up to date with their payments.

“This support continues and, in dealing with the impact of the current Covid-19 pandemic, we remain focused on how best we can help our borrowers, including offering payment holidays.”

Other forbearance measures by Leeds Building Society include product transfers, term extensions, temporary transfer to interest only, and agreed repayment plans and concessionary repayments.

As a responsible lender, the Society will always work with borrowers who are concerned they may not be able to repay their mortgage, in order to agree a solution which suits their personal circumstances.

The Society encourages any borrower concerned about their financial circumstances to get in touch as soon as possible to discuss how best they can be supported. Every case is considered on its individual merits.

For borrowers directly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Society has a dedicated page which can be found at https://www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk/coronavirus-information/

Ends

Notes to Editors

*The voluntary agreement was launched by UK Finance, the Building Societies Association and the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, following the Financial Conduct Authority’s interim Mortgage Market Study, about voluntary support for homeowners tied to reversion rates.

Covid-19

Since the Chancellor's announcement on Tuesday 17 March, Leeds Building Society has been continuing to look at how it can support members and already has a number of options available which can help borrowers at risk of experiencing financial difficulties.

For members who are worried, or may now struggle to meet mortgage payments, because of coronavirus, these include:

Mortgage payment holidays: repayment holidays of up to three months are available, for mortgage customers as well as Buy to Let landlords whose tenants are affected by coronavirus.

The latest information is available here: www.leedsbuildingsociety.co.uk

Extra mortgage support: mortgage payment holidays will not be suitable for all borrowers. Options for borrowers in arrears include a temporary move to interest only, or a concession on monthly repayments.

Arrears fees: waived until the end of May.

Repossessions: suspended until the end of May.

Additional payments: some members may want to make extra ad-hoc mortgage payments – more information about how to do this in can be found in the Help centre

Support by phone: As the Society is currently receiving an extremely high numbers of calls, it is prioritising customers who need help the most so is asking customers to call only if they're having difficulties meeting their next mortgage payment. Customers’ patience is appreciated at this exceptionally busy time.

Leeds Building Society operates throughout the UK and had assets of £20.8bn at 31 December 2019 (£19.4bn at 31 December 2018). The UK’s fifth-largest mutual has its head office is in the centre of Leeds, where it has been based since 1886.

The Society won the title of Best Shared Ownership Mortgage Lender in the 2019 What Mortgage Awards, its fourth consecutive year of success in this category. It also received a Gold Ribbon from Fairer Finance for savings accounts for the third year running, based on customer happiness and trust, along with the ability to explain things clearly.