The financial press looked kindly on smaller lenders this weekend, with experts in the Financial Times and the Sunday Times reporting that the bigger banks currently only provide 29% of the top 500 deals. Building societies such as Monmouthshire and Leek United are offering some of the most competitive rates, and brokers say that smaller lenders are forward-thinking in their approach to product development. A more personalised service can also be beneficial to borrowers, although available funds tend to be smaller so deals tend not to be around for as long as those provided by larger lenders. There was also coverage in the Times, Telegraph and FT this weekend of the news that Lloyds Group is to pay £500million to around 300,000 Halifax customers due to a poorly worded sentence in mortgage offers issued between 2004 and 2007. Halifax had said that it’s Standard Variable Rate would not go above 2% over the Bank of England base rate, but they had only intended this to apply to certain customers, and not all customers were notified when the cap was raised to 3% above base. Elsewhere the Mail on Sunday revealed that many borrowers who bought for the first time in the last couple of years have seen their deposit lost or eroded by falling values. Lenders including Lloyds Group, Coventry and Nationwide now offer equity-support schemes for those who need to move properties but are in negative equity.
What the papers say- 26th and 27th February 2011