Avoid “Computer says no” syndrome, plead brokers

Published: 26/07/2012

Mortgage introducers are urging the Co-operative Bank to apply “common sense lending” after it was confirmed the lender has sealed the deal to buy 632 Lloyds branches, including all its Cheltenham and Gloucester (C&G) branches.

C&G was well renowned within the industry for its flexible underwriting approach, prompting many in the industry to encourage Co-op to adopt a similar process at a time when common sense appears to be lacking across the spectrum of lenders.

Stuart Gregory is the Director of Lenture Mortgage Consultancy:

“One of the key strengths of C&G’s lending was it was common sense lending, it was individually underwritten. If Co-op moved into that type of approach, it could make great strides in the market and borrowers would benefit.”

But while the move, which will see Co-op account for nearly 10 per cent of the UK’s entire banking branch network, could spell good news for borrowers, some believe Co-op could look to phase out its relationship with brokers. While its intermediary brand Platform does offer a small selection of mainstream products, the majority of its lending is generated in the buy to let sector.

The deal will see the Co-operative Group pay an initial £350m for the Project Verde branches and take over the affected 632 Lloyds and C&G branches by November 2013.

Content correct at time of publication

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