Flexible lending criteria becomes bigger priority for borrowers post-lockdown

The latest Masthaven Bank Broker Beat study has revealed that Covid-19 has shifted customers’ interests when looking for a lender, with 79% of brokers saying flexible lending criteria is now a bigger priority for borrowers compared to pre-pandemic times.

Other factors which have significantly increased in importance are speed (56%), flexible product features (54%) and customer service (52%). 

Only 26% of the 186 brokers surveyed said low rates were more important now than pre-Covid.

The greater emphasis on the importance of flexible lending criteria is also highlighted by the fact that over a quarter of brokers (28%) expect to see more borrowers financially impacted by Covid-19 in the next 12 months, including customers who took mortgage payment holidays, have been furloughed or have been put on the government jobs support scheme.

A further 19% said they expected more business from borrowers with an impaired credit history.

Rob Barnard, director of intermediaries at Masthaven (pictured above), said: “Today’s findings show that borrowers no longer just want low rates from their lenders. 

“They want flexibility, efficiency and good customer service and there’s no doubt that the pandemic has been a major driver behind this shift in priorities. 

“With so many borrowers financially impacted by Covid-19, many of these individuals are now looking for lenders who have a personal and flexible approach to lending to help them meet their needs. 

“While lockdown restrictions may have come to an end, the future still looks uncertain and the full extent of the impact of the pandemic is yet to be felt. 

“However, the housing market has proved itself to be resilient, and by working together, lenders and brokers can ensure borrowers have access to the flexible products they want and need.”

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