UK mortgage criteria search system Knowledge Bank has launched new criteria categories amidst growing concerns surrounding properties with cladding.
The first category – ‘Composite Cladding/EWS1 Form’ – has been introduced to help brokers find lenders that will lend on properties with composite cladding.
Due to issues around potentially unsafe cladding, there is a huge surge in brokers dealing with clients who are effectively ‘mortgage prisoners’ – those that are trapped in unsafe housing as they struggle to remortgage or sell their property, as some lenders are hesitant to provide finance.
An estimated 650,000 people are currently living in properties with potentially unsafe cladding, according to The Guardian, and so Knowledge Bank has introduced this new category for brokers to support their clients who are trapped in this way.
The second category – ‘Local Authority Search Indemnity Insurance’ – relates to indemnity insurance, which helps to speed up the mortgage process and can lower costs as it means the lender does not have to conduct a search on the property.
As awareness and demand for indemnity insurance is growing, Knowledge Bank sets out to make it easier for brokers to find lenders that accept this.
The new categories are the latest additions from Knowledge Bank and follow the team’s ‘mortgage prisoners’ category as a result of the increasing number of lenders adjusting criteria to support clients trapped in mortgages.
These new launches come on the back of a record 1.35 million searches on the Knowledge Bank system in 2020.
Nicola Firth, founder and chief executive officer Knowledge Bank, says: “Supporting brokers is our number one focus. When we see a trend of requests or activity in the market, we immediately look to develop new categories to support this demand, and give brokers access to the information they need to help their clients.”
“With 52,000 criteria changes last year alone, it is clearly impossible to keep up with lenders’ changing criteria with a traditional spreadsheet. Brokers clearly realise this. The necessity of a criteria search system was demonstrated by the enormous and unprecedented number of searches carried out by brokers last year, which topped 1.35 million.”
She concludes: “2021 looks certain to be another year of change. As always, we will ensure that we are on hand to help brokers and will continue to add new criteria, improve our service and support brokers the moment it is necessary.”