The midweek money press primarily looked at lenders withdrawing mortgage deals and First Direct closing its doors to new customers. This news made the front page of the Financial Times, who looked at why such drastic action was taken. Accordingly, First Direct had been swamped by applications following moves by rival banks to withdraw similar mortgage deals because of worsening conditions in the money markets. The bank, part of HSBC, the UK’s biggest lender, yesterday stopped loans to homeowners who were not existing customers after it received five times the normal level of applications. It had been offering two-year fixed rate mortgage deals of 4.95 per cent- seen as one of the most competitive on the market.
Elsewhere, the Daily Mail and Daily Mirror ran features concerned with higher interest rates and the withdrawal of ‘best buy’ rates. More than 10,000 mortgage deals have been withdrawn since last July, and as the crisis worsened 139 were pulled in just one day last week. Homeowners worried about the current home loan chaos were advised to reserve top rates as soon as possible. Most banks and building societies will let you hold on to a mortgage rate for six months before completing on the offer, so now is the time to snap up a good deal.