There was further evidence of the Government’s Funding for Lending scheme filtering through to the consumer last week, with the launch of a 2 year fixed rate at just 1.99% through Tesco Bank. Experts in the Times welcomed the extra competition within the mortgage market, although rates this low do not tend to be around for long, so borrowers were advised to act quickly. Brokers in the Guardian also highlighted the fact that there is already an excellent choice for homeowners with large deposits, and more options were needed at 90% and 95% loan-to value in order to help First Time Buyers. In protection news the Independent reported that the ban on gender-based pricing, due to take effect from 21st December, could cause life cover premiums for women to rise by 25%. As the deadline draws closer, anyone looking to review their protection needs is urged to do so quickly, and speak to an advisor for help. Experts did advise however that although there may be leeway to start cover after the deadline, most providers will require full underwriting to have been completed before that date. Elsewhere the Sunday Times revealed that a report due this week by the FSA is expected to confirm that banks will be required to impose even tighter controls over interest only mortgages, and in particular the strategies for repaying them. Although designed to prevent irresponsible lending, it could also have an impact on wealthy borrowers or those with irregular income who wish to use bonuses to reduce the debt.
What the papers say – 19th – 21st October 2012