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Bank chiefs to go tougher on bad debtors

The Committee of Banks’ Chief Executive Officers in Nigeria has said that there is an urgent need for all banks to cooperate and collaborate to identify and go tougher on chronic debt defaulters.

The committee said this would go beyond publishing names of such defaulters in national media (which is inevitable), but involved all banks speaking with one voice, sharing information about those entities, and refusing to do further business with them until they settled their obligations.

The bank CEOs condemned the actions of bad debtors who now resorted to smear campaigns against banks and their chief executives in order to either delay repaying loans or avoid meeting their debt obligations completely.

During a meeting in Lagos to review what it called the “harassment and criminalisation of banks’ CEOs by law enforcement agencies,” the body noted that chronic bank debtors were now in the habit of enlisting law enforcement agencies including police, judiciary and state securities to harass and criminalise banks’ CEO, which was unacceptable.

The committee noted that the loan defaulters were known to have abused court processes as well as using social media to propagate their smear campaign against the banks.

A communiqué issued after the meeting noted that the activities by the law enforcement agencies and the bank debt defaulters were capable of adversely affecting the banking system through the CEOs’ reputation among international banks as well as destroy the economy.

They, therefore, called for the issue to be checked and managed.

In order to tackle what the body saw as an emerging threat to the banking business in Nigeria, the Committee of Banks’ CEOs outlined a five-step resolution of actions that banks would need to take.

The resolutions and planned actions were arrived at after members discussed and considered different options for dealing with the issue.

To avoid the kind of crisis that rocked the banking sector 10 years ago, the CEOs urged all agencies and stakeholders to step up and help fight the inherent menace of chronic loan defaulters.

According to the CEOs, the banking industry is the backbone of the Nigerian economy; therefore, it was the responsibility of all stakeholders, regulators, police, judiciary, corporate organisations and media to help save it from activities of delinquent debtors.

The group resolved that all cases of defaults would be presented and passed through the Bankers’ Committee Ethics Committee just as it intended to work with legal councils and come up with ways and strategies to manage related cases effectively without disrupting businesses and the system.

Nigerian bank’s non-performing loans stood at N2.245tn as of the end of September 2018, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

The NBS revealed that in the period under review, the country’s gross loans stood at N15.861tn, while loans (after specific provisions) stood at N13.332tn.

According to the NBS, as of the end of June, non-performing loans stood at N1.939tn while gross loans and loans (after specific provisions) were N15.50tn and N13.587tn respectively.

The Asset Management Corporation had recently published a list of defaulters that it termed as delinquent debtors. They allegedly owed about N906.1bn.

Ipswich BS increases maximum mortgage loan size

Ipswich Building Society has increased the maximum loan size on its standard 75% LTV residential mortgage products and its 80% LTV self build product from £500,000 to £750,000.

The new higher maximum loan size will be applicable across all existing standard 75% LTV residential and later life products, and the current 80% LTV self build product.

The Society’s remaining product range will continue to have a maximum loan size of £500,000 unless otherwise stated.

For buyers requiring a mortgage between £500,000 and £750,000 but with a higher LTV, the Society’s existing ‘large loan’ range will continue to be available and offer a higher LTV allowance of up to 90%.

Richard Norrington, CEO at Ipswich Building Society, said: “We recognise that the UK housing market is changing: as well as a general upwards trend in house prices, we’ve seen some buyers missing out several rungs on the property ladder and going straight from a starter home to a much larger or ‘forever’ home.

“This probably reflects the fact that people are buying their first property later in life but then quickly requiring greater space for a growing family. By increasing the maximum loan size across our standard products, we hope to be able to support these ‘leapfrog buyers’ as well as others who need to access larger mortgages to reflect house price growth in their area.”

Source: By Rozi Jones

Gateway Mortgage Group completes merger, becomes Gateway First Bank

Gateway Mortgage Group has completed its acquisition of Farmers Exchange Bank, with the two companies emerging under the name Gateway First Bank and creating one of the top 5 largest banks in Oklahoma.

Gateway First Bank has $1.2 billion in assets, five banking centers in Northwest Oklahoma, 160 mortgage centers with operations in 40 states and D.C., and more than 1,200 employees, the company said.

The deal, which included the purchase of more than 85% of Farmers Exchange Bank’s stock, was first announced in August and closed on Monday.

Gateway said it raised $40 million in equity capital to fund the deal and support future growth of the new company.

“This acquisition and resulting transformation is a very important achievement for Gateway,” said Gateway CEO Stephen Curry. “By combining two successful Oklahoma companies to form Gateway First Bank, we have created a robust foundation for future growth.

Over the next year we intend to deliver significant enhancements to the customer experience and new products, while maintaining the superior service, great culture and nationally recognized workplace we’re known for.”

Source: Housingwire

HF to cut house loan size in bid to double its lending uptake

Mortgage financier HF is turning its focus to affordable housing financing as part of a plan to double its housing loans to 12,000 in the next two years.

The lender’s books have in the past year taken a hit in line with the slowdown in the property market, leading to a net loss of Sh598.2 million last year compared to a profit of Sh126.2 million in 2017 on the back of lower interest income.

It has as well suffered with rate capping with long-term funding becoming a major problem.

Group chief executive Robert Kibaara told the Business Daily in an interview that the shift is informed by the higher demand in the lower-cost housing segment, where there is a market gap that can be exploited.

“We want to double our mortgage loans from the current 6,000 in the next two years,” said Mr Kibaara.

“Our plan is to now focus on affordable housing—in Nairobi these would be loans of between Sh4 million and Sh4.5 million—because that is where the demand is to be found.”

Big Four Agenda

The plan, he added, is partly dependent on the Government’s Big Four housing programme that will in part sort out support infrastructure such as roads, electricity, water and sewerage. Developers of low-cost housing have been unable to put up units in desirable areas due to the high cost associated with setting up the support infrastructure, which has in turn inhibited the mortgage market by pricing out most of the working class from home ownership.

Those setting up such units are forced to do so on the periphery of the city, where it is proving hard to find ready buyers due to the distance and infrastructure factor.

Latest Central Bank of Kenya data shows that there were 26,187 mortgage loans in the market in December 2017, which was an increase of 8.8 percent or 2,128 loan accounts compared to 2016

The average mortgage loan size stood at Sh10.9 million Sh9.1 million in 2016, which is well above the reach of the average Kenyan given that the average interest charge on the loans stood at 13.57 percent during the year.

Part of the reforms that CBK called for in the annual banking sector report of 2017 was the development of low-cost housing options in order to grow the mortgage market.


8 Tips on Mortgages for First-Time Home Buyers- Expert

Buying a home might be the most important financial transaction of your life. 

  • Many people need mortgages to help finance their homes.
  • We asked an expert for advice on mortgages for first-time home buyers.

If you’re looking to become a homeowner, you’ll likely be considering a mortgage to help you finance the purchase.

We asked Danny Gardner, Freddie Mac’s senior vice president of single-family affordable lending and access to credit, for his best advice on mortgages for first-time home buyers.

From finding down-payment resources to understanding lender fees, here are eight things Gardner thinks every home buyer should know about mortgages:

A 20% down payment is not a requirement

Associated Press

“The one prevailing myth about home purchasing is that you are required to put down 20%,” Gardner said. While you will usually get a lower interest rate if you have a 20% down payment, he noted, “that is not the threshold for achieving mortgage financing.”

Freddie Mac provides a secondary market to buy mortgages from lenders so they can write more mortgages. While you will never deal directly with Freddie Mac, it has programs designed to help low income borrowers and first-time home buyers qualify for loans with down payments as low as 3%.

There are thousands of programs to help homebuyers make down payments

Many states and cities have down payment assistance programs to help you with financing. Gardner recommends checking this listing of programs to see if there’s one you qualify for.

“Not all lenders participate in these programs,” Gardner said, adding that “matching a lender to a program by yourself can be challenging.”

If you want to take advantage of a down payment assistance program, he recommends getting a list of approved lenders from the agency.

Down payment assistance can be substantial: Gardner pointed to San Francisco’s program , which offers up to $375,000 in a silent second mortgage . Don’t leave this money on the table.

If you’re not careful, your mortgage applications could hurt your credit score.


If your credit report is pulled too many times, it can negatively affect your score.

To combat this, Gardner suggests pulling your own credit report (which you can do for free ) and bringing that to lenders to get informal rate quotes.

Once you’re ready to apply for a loan, your lender will need to pull your official credit report, but you can avoid having it pulled repeatedly, and you can also avoid lenders’ credit check fees by pulling your credit score on your own.

Understanding lender fees and shopping around can save you money

Not all lenders charge the same fees. Gardner recommends shopping around, since most of the fees associated with buying a home are paid by the buyer.

“If a buyer gets at least two quotes, they are likely to save at least $1,500 over the life of the mortgage,” he said, adding that, if you get five quotes, you could save $3,000.

To compare loans, look at their varying annual percentage rates , which incorporate the lender fees.

You might not need an appraisal

Gardner said an appraisal often isn’t necessary today because “we have so much better access to data and information” than in the past.

Read more: 8 of the biggest scams to avoid when buying a car

An appraisal can cost you up to $1,000 in some cases. Gardner noted that an appraisal, for the lender to determine the value of the property, is different from a home inspection, which is for the buyer.

If you can close quickly, you could score a lower interest rate

Because of the amount of online data available to lenders, the time to process mortgage applications has shrunk. This could save you money.

Once you have a rate lock from your lender, Gardner said, “the longer the length of time for which a lender has to commit a rate to a borrower versus the time that is likely to close, the higher the cost to the buyer.”

In other words, if you can close quickly, you could score a lower interest rate. The efficiencies in mortgage processing are one of the reasons for our very low mortgage rates in the US, according to Gardner.

You should prequalify for a mortgage, but you should still shop around


You’ll need to prequalify for a mortgage before you make an offer on a house. But you don’t have to be married to the lender who granted you that prequalification letter, according to Gardner.

“You still have the opportunity to shop rate after you have that contract in hand,” he said. “Before you commit to a rate lock, shop your rate.”

You’ll have to do this quickly, since you’ll want to secure your loan, so you don’t lose the property. But you can get comparison quotes in a couple of days and you could save money over the life of your loan.

Educating yourself about the home-buying process will increase your chances of getting your dream home


The more you know about buying a home before you start the process, the better your chances of making a winning bid in a competitive housing market.

“The environment today is very difficult for the first-time home buyer,” Gardner said, adding that if you start out informed, you can be a better partner to your real estate agent.

Source: Pulse

What your Mortgage Bankers ‘Forgot’ To Tell you About Home Loans

Most of the time, our eyes are glazed over when the mortgage banker is talking. There are so many financial terms and so much blather that we just give up and ask, “Look, how much per month?” and willingly get slaughtered. Here’s what they’re not telling you, though.

1. The “low interest rates” are usually just low for the first three years.

Most home loan rates follow a pattern that looks like this:

Year 1: 3 Month Sibor (Singapore Interbank Offered Rate) + 0.8 per cent
Year 2: 3 Month Sibor + 0.8 per cent
Year 3: 3 Month Sibor + 0.8 per cent
Year 4 and thereafter: 3 Month Sibor + 1.2 per cent

The keyword is “thereafter”. That’s the real rate you’ll be paying, all the way to the end of your home loan. As that’s usually about 30 years, it’s best not to pay attention to just the first three. It’s more important to secure a low “fourth year and thereafter” rate than it is to get the first three years for cheap.

2. Refinancing isn’t always an option.

Wow, that’s like the captain of a cruise ship saying, “You can always start swimming if we sink.”

The idea here is that when interest rates climb (in the fourth year), you can just switch to a new loan with three cheap years again. Easy, right?

Except that in an environment where interest rates are climbing, there’s no guarantee that you can find a cheaper option in four years. On top of that, refinancing is not a free thing you do with one phone call. It can cost upward of S$2,500 in administrative fees, and you need to go through the entire process of loan application again.

Here’s the kicker: It’s possible to pass (get your loan approved) the first time around, but fail on the refinancing attempt. That can happen if your income changes, if new loan policies are passed or if the bank just doesn’t like your age.

3. Using the bank’s law firms is the fastest way, and sometimes the worst idea.

A conveyancing firm needs to look over your home loan. And because they apparently need S$100,000 and several years of law school to do this, the fee is between S$2,500 to S$3,000.

But the thing is, you can use a different law firm if you find one that charges less. It just has to be on the bank’s board. So, you might be wondering, “Why doesn’t the mortgage banker just use the cheapest law firm?” Well, sometimes they do. But other times, there’s a nefarious reason: They might pick a law firm that’s only on their bank’s board – recognised by their bank but by no others.

If this happens, you have an additional impediment to refinancing. If you want to switch to a different bank, you could end up having to pay conveyancing fees all over again, as another law firm has to take over.

So, consider getting a mortgage broker to pick the law firm instead.

4. There’s no reason for you to pay this much.

What’s the upside to taking a loan that’s more expensive – premium loan, if you like?

Well, there is none. Zero. Nada. Zilch. You just pay for for no reason whatsoever. To give you a simplified explanation, each bank has a certain quota of loans it wants to give out. As they come closer to meeting that quota, the interest rates go up. So, at any point in time, despite there being hundreds of home loan packages, only a handful are the best ones. That’s it; there’s nothing else to it.

But of course, the mortgage banker can’t tell you that – they get paid to sell loans, so they can’t very well tell you, “My loan package is just more expensive because we already gave out a lot of these”.  Which, again, is another reason to use a mortgage broker or a home loans comparison site. Don’t just go to the first bank you come across, and agree to anything.

5. You might have to return those freebies.

Sometimes, the mortgage banker might sweeten the deal for you. They might absorb the cost of the law firm, for example, or some other administrative fees.

But what they may not have told you is that there’s a clawback clause. This means that if you refinance within a certain number of years (whether or not there’s a lock-in), you may have to pay back these subsidised costs. If you think that’s stingy, you don’t know the half of it – some banks would probably ask for their complimentary pens back if they could.

So, before you agree to anything, ask whether are any clawback clauses, or extra terms regarding the perks.

Source: cnalifestyle

Affordable Housing to lift Mortgages Sector

The number of Kenyans seeking to buy homes with bank loans is expected to triple over the next three years.Kenya Bankers Association (KBA) said they estimate mortgages to rise to around 66,000 from the current 26,000 due to interventions by the government to create the Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company and the market adjusting to supply affordable houses.

According to KBA’s Housing Price Index for the first quarter, 62.62 per cent of the houses currently being built are apartments, but this is expected to change as the government pushes its agenda to put up half a million houses.“

Apartments (segment) maintained their dominance in the housing market, accounting for relatively high share of sold units at 62.62 per cent, which is a structural feature that would potentially change with the implementation of the affordable housing programme of the Big Four agenda,” said KBA director of research and policy, Jared Osoro.

Kenya has only 26,187 mortgages worth Sh223 billion, which is a mere 2.7 per cent of the gross domestic product, compared to South Africa whose mortgage market makes up 31 per cent of their GDP.Banks say Kenyans do not save, so lenders depend on borrowed money to fund mortgages and hence the high cost and short duration.

They also claim that without a clean asset register, they factor in additional legal costs to list a charge in case of default.Kenya Mortgage Refinancing Company – which has over Sh35 billion seed capital from the World Bank and Africa Development Bank – is set to offer bulk funding to banks who will then be able to give loans of up to Sh4 million.

The loans are to be extended at fixed rates to borrowers, with a monthly income of not more than Sh150,000.While the house prices are also expected to change, KBA says it may not be as drastic, since the segment being targeted by the state for intervention is entirely a new one which will create more buyers, but not necessarily divert current buyers from the homes being provided by the market.“This will be a creation of a market where none had existed, leading to a structural adjustment,” Mr Osoro said.

Source: standardmedia

Lending to first time buyers up in first quarter of 2019

There was an increases in new buyer home lending in regional parts of the UK in the first quarter of 2019, the latest mortgage industry figures show, with Scotland stronger than Wales.

In Scotland there were 6,760 new first time buyer mortgages completed in Scotland, up 4.5% compared to the same quarter in 2018. Additionally, there were 6,620 new home mover mortgages, up 6.6%, according to the figures from UK Finance.

The data also shows that there were 9,670 new home owner remortgages completed in Scotland, up 18.8%, the highest volume of remortgaging in Scotland in a decade, when 9,850 remortgages were completed in the third quarter of 2009.

There were 3,450 new first time buyer mortgages completed in Wales, a rise of 1.2% and 3,140 new home mover mortgages, a rise of 1%. There were 4,810 new home owner remortgages, a fall of 0.2% and the UK Finance report points out that this follows a period of strong growth in remortgaging in Wales during 2018.

In Northern Ireland there were 2,440 new first time buyer mortgages completed, up 11.4% and 1,490 new home mover mortgages, a fall of 0.7%. There were 2,820 new home owner remortgages completed, up 24.8% to the highest level of remortgaging in Northern Ireland since the first quarter of 2009, when 3,280 remortgages were completed.

There were 9,410 new first time buyer mortgages completed in London, a rise of 1.6%, and 5,980 new home mover mortgages, down 3.7% while there were 14,170 new home owner remortgages, a fall of 1.3%.

John Phillips, national operations director of Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart, pointed out that despite a few little shifts, first time buyers and remortgages are dominating the market while home movers in Scotland are more confident than those in London, probably because they are closer to the political and economic uncertainty.

John Phillips, national operations director, Just Mortgages and Spicerhaart said: “The regional lending trends data out today from UK Finance reveal that first time buyer mortgages are up across the UK for quarter one, with the biggest hike in Northern Ireland, which saw a rise of 11.4 per cent.

2While there are a couple of little anomalies, these figures are pretty much what we have been seeing for the past 18 months or so with first time buyers holding up the purchase market, and the wider market being remortgage activity,’ he said.

‘There is a bit more action in terms of home movers in Scotland, and I think this is because there is a bit of a north south divide at the moment with people in the North of England and Scotland feeling less close to the political and economic uncertainty being felt in London, but overall, the picture is what I’d expect to see, and until all this uncertainty is over, I don’t think this is going to change anytime soon,’ he added.

Blue Ridge Bank launches reverse mortgage division

Announces partnership with ReverseVision

North Carolina-based Blue Ridge Bank announced this week that it has partnered with HECM technology provider ReverseVision to launch a reverse mortgage division.

The bank, which said it has closed $25 billion in forward loans, is implementing ReverseVision’s RV Exchange loan origination system to support its launch.

“The creation of a reverse lending division led by industry veterans and powered by the industry’s leading reverse origination software is part of Blue Ridge Bank’s larger initiative to offer a comprehensive portfolio of home lending products capable of helping every customer attain their home ownership and financial goals,” said Foster Vaught, regional market sales manager at Blue Ridge Bank.

ReverseVision Vice President of Sales and Marketing Wendy Peel said Blue Ridge can employ a “generational lending” strategy with the new software in place, meaning that it can cater to older clients with different financing needs in the next stage of their lives.

ReverseVision, a 2017 and 2018 HW Tech00 winner, has been promoting this strategy to traditional mortgage lenders as a means to boost business in the tough climate.

“RVX’s HECM and senior lending platform will empower Blue Ridge Bank to execute on a Generational Lending strategy that serves their many decades-long customers at every stage in life,” said Peel. “With RVX, Blue Ridge Bank is well supported to extend an exceptional customer experience to borrowers of senior lending products.”

Source: By Jessica Guerin

Mortgage Competition Contributes to fall in Nationwide Profits

The building society saw a drop in profits despite its net mortgage lending rising to £8.6bn from £5.8bn the previous year. Intense competition has likely led to the fall in mortgage rates year-on-year, which consequently could have affected mortgage lending profits.

Along with Nationwide reporting a drop in profits, the competitive mortgage market is one factor that could have contributed to Tesco Bank and the AA leaving the sector altogether.

Increased mortgage competition

Competition in the mortgage sector has intensified over the last year, with data from Moneyfacts.co.uk showing that in the past 12 months alone, the number of mortgage products available has increased by 9% from 4,588 in May 2018 to 5,001 in May 2019. As a consequence, the average two-year fixed rate has fallen from 2.51% in May 2018 to 2.47% in May 2019 while the average five-year fixed rate dropped from 2.91% to 2.85%.

This fall in mortgage rates happened despite the Bank of England increasing the base rate to 0.75% in August 2018, which would normally see mortgage rates increase.

Moneyfacts.co.uk data also reveals that rates among higher loan-to-value (LTV) tiers have fallen the most over the last year, which could be as a result of mortgage lenders looking to attract first-time buyers.

The average rate for a two-year fixed mortgage at 95% LTV decreased from 4.11% in May 2018 to 3.26% this month, while the average rate for a 90% LTV fell from 2.77% to 2.63%.

Meanwhile, average two-year fixed rates for lower LTVs increased over the past 12 months – albeit by a very small margin – which suggests that margins are so narrow in this area that rates are at the lowest lenders can afford.

The average rate at 75% LTV increased by 0.04% from 2.28% to 2.32%, while the average 60% LTV increased by just 0.02% from 1.88% to 1.90%.

With this intense competition likely contributing to Nationwide Building Society seeing a drop in profits, along with the narrow margins, means it is unlikely that lenders will make further reductions to mortgage rates, and instead may be hoping the Bank of England will opt to increase the base rate further to in turn increase mortgage rates. Borrowers could therefore consider locking their mortgage into a fixed term rate now to protect themselves against possible future rate increases.

Source: Derin Clark

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