02/04/2008

First Direct Withdraws Mortgages For New Customers

First Direct has temporarily suspended the sale of its mortgage products to non-customers.

The telephone and online bank, a division of HSBC, will stop all products including its two-year fixed rate offset mortgage, from sale to non-direct customers.

The bank said that the measure will help it cope with the high demand for its range of mortgages.

First Direct chief executive, Chris Pilling said: "The flood of interest in our mortgages has meant we're taking longer than we'd like to handle applications, especially from non-customers.

"Rather than increase interest rates dramatically to discourage new applications, we've decided to withdraw temporarily from offering mortgages to non-customers until we've cleared the backlog.

"First direct won its reputation for its amazing customer service and our first priority is to ensure we give all our customers the level of service they expect from us."

The credit crunch has had a knock on impact on the interest rates that banks loan money to each other, a rate far higher that the Bank of England's base lending rate.

First Direct is the first major lender to suspend its entire range to non-customers.

One of the UK's biggest mortgage lenders, Nationwide building society, raised its interest rates on fixed and tracker deals, last week.

(DS/KMcA)


Related UK National News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

06 November 2008
Bank Of England Slashes Interest Rates To 3%
The Bank of England has reduced interest rates by 1.5% in a dramatic attempt to rescue Britain from the grip of recession. The cut - which takes interest rates to 3% - follows widespread calls from industry for a major reduction, as the country faces the prospect of a deep recession.
09 December 2004
Ofcom reviews controls on premium rate calls
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has published its findings aimed at improving consumer protection following a review of the regulation of premium rate telephone services in the UK.
12 October 2009
Remortgaging Continues To Decline
The mortgage market is on two speed settings, as house purchase lending continues to recover but remortgaging continues to decline, according to the latest data released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). The number of house purchase loans in August (53,000) is down 5% from July but 29% higher than August a year ago.
16 January 2007
Cooling house prices after interest rate hikes
The latest figures on house price rises show that the market has cooled following the November interest rate rise.
13 November 2013
Unemployment Rate Falls To Three Year Low
New figures from the Office for National Statistics have shown that total number of UK unemployed has fallen to 2.47 million, a decrease of 48,000. The unemployment rate now stands at its lowest in over three years, at 7.6%. The figures also show that the number claiming jobseekers allowance now stands at 1.31 million, a fall of some 41,700.