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Covid-19 Update

The safety and well-being of our customers, brokers and colleagues during the Covid-19 outbreak is our top priority.


Everything you need to know about how we've adapted our business and services in response is on this page.

Please see the criteria sections below for details about some temporary changes, to ensure we can continue to lend responsibly.

Last updated 29 April 2021


The Land Registries in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and England and Wales have resumed services. Together, with UK Finance and the relevant Law Registries, they’re in discussions around the impact of the previous closure of registries. We’re aware that there’s a pipeline of applications in all registries and are managing impacted customers on a case by case basis. We’re also aware of the stamp duty implications for the end of March and are monitoring this. If you have any questions please contact your BDM.

Criteria – temporary changes for affordability assessment

We won’t include annual / semi-annual bonuses in LTI and affordability, but we’re still accepting high frequency bonuses along with regular commission and overtime on current payslips.  We may request additional documentation to support this, or limit the amount used in our affordability assessment if there’s uncertainty around these payments continuing in the future.

Criteria – temporary changes for remortgages

We’ve introduced a temporary LTV limit of 75% (excluding fees) to remortgages which involve the release of capital. 

Criteria – temporary changes for self employed applicants

We’ll need to confirm that your self employed customers have resumed trading. We'll request their latest business bank statement to evidence recent trading activity. We may request additional documentation to support our underwriting assessment, including cases where applicants haven’t restarted trading yet.

Face to face visits

We will accept a case as face to face if the customer has been seen by you over video link.

Financial difficulties

If your customer is facing financial difficulties, we’ll work with them to understand their circumstances and determine the most appropriate option for their situation.

Furloughed applicants

We’re still accepting applications from customers who are on furlough provided they have a confirmed return to work date. We’ll ask you to provide evidence of this during the application process.

We’ll assess the income of furloughed applicants with a return to work date based on 100% of their basic salary when they return, taking into account any reduction in salary that may have been agreed.

We won’t take any historic variable income, such as bonus/overtime/commission into account.

In the case of joint applications where one applicant is furloughed, the case may still proceed if the application passes our affordability assessment based on the other, non-furloughed, applicant’s income alone.

Help to Buy incentives

Changes in Stamp Duty Land Tax rules for England and Northern Ireland were announced on 8th July. As a result we’ve made a temporary change to our incentive criteria on Help to Buy: Equity Loan purchases only. There is no change to our New Build policy.

If you submitted a Help to Buy application on or before 9th July, we’ll now accept a cash incentive in lieu of any previously agreed stamp duty incentive offers. This only applies if:

  • The value of the cash incentive is no greater than 5% of the full purchase price


  • The value of the cash incentive is no greater than the value of the original stamp duty incentive declared on the original disclosure of incentives form.

You don’t need to let us know if the incentive has been reduced or removed. The conveyancer won’t need to amend the disclosure of incentives form if it's already been sent to us, and as long as the above criteria is met.

This is a temporary update and our incentive criteria remains the same. Visit our dedicated New Build page for more information.

ID requirements

There’s no change to our ID requirements and we’ll continue to complete checks to verify your customer’s ID. In the vast majority of cases proof of ID isn’t required. However if proof of ID is required and you can’t verify the customer ID because of remote working, then we’ve amended our process so that your customer can send the information directly to us. They’ll need to quote the application reference number.

Please speak to your BDM or Telephone BDM if you need further guidance on this.

Logging a change of circumstance

If your customer's financial situation has materially changed, please let us know. You can do this via case messaging on the online portal or call us on 0345 266 8928*.

Missed or late payments

Any payment breaks we’ve agreed as a result of Covid-19 will not affect customers’ credit files. All other missed payments will be reported as usual.

Options for customers ending their payment break

At the end of the payment break we’ll automatically add the deferred payments to your customer’s mortgage so they’re repaid by the end of the mortgage term.

There are other options available including:

  • Repaying in full at the end of the payment break
  • Repaying the deferred amount over a shorter period (rather than the remainder of the term)
  • Extending the mortgage term (repayment mortgages only).

Repaying the deferred payments over an agreed period will increase your customer’s standard monthly payment.

The option your customer chooses will depend on their individual circumstances. We’ll write to customers nearing the end of their payment break with more details. They don’t need to contact us before they receive this letter.

Our current service

These are updated daily on our website. We’re currently operating as normal with many of our teams are now working remotely.

Your BDM remains fully contactable via phone and email - please get in touch with them first with any queries you may have. You can find their contact details here.

Payment breaks

Applications for payment breaks ended on 31 March 2021.

If your customer is on their first payment break and still experiencing difficulties, they can apply for a further payment break. They can defer their payments for a total of 6 months or until 31 July 2021 whichever is sooner, provided the payment break runs consecutively.

They’ll still owe the deferred amount, and the interest on their mortgage will continue to accrue during their payment break. Other options may be more suitable for them.

If your customer expects their situation to affect them longer term, or they have arrears on their mortgage account, please ask them to contact us, so we can discuss which options may be best for them.

Payment break extension

We’ll write to your customer near the end of their payment break to explain the options available to repay their deferred payments. If they are able to resume mortgage payments, either partially or in full, it is in their best interests to do so.

However, if after taking their initial payment break, your customer is still experiencing difficulties, they can apply for a further payment break. They can defer their payments for a total of 6 months or until 31 July 2021 whichever is sooner, provided the payment break runs consecutively.

They can only apply for an extension if they’ve received a letter from us confirming what their next steps are. This will be sent before their payments are due to start again.

Once they have received their payment break end letter, they can apply for a payment break extension by completing the Payment Break Extension Application form here. By submitting the request, they’re confirming that all parties to the mortgage consent to the extension.

Impact of extending a payment break

When your customer takes a payment break, the amount owed and any interest charged will be added to their mortgage account. This will increase their monthly payments once the payment break ends, so they’ll need to make sure they can afford the increased payment. If they can afford to make their mortgage payment either partially or in full, they should do so.

There’ll be no impact to your customer’s credit file. However, there are other ways lenders can see if they’ve taken a payment break, such as the balance of their mortgage over this period, or information from their bank account. Lenders may take this into account when assessing future applications.

Procuration fee payments

There’s no change to the procurement fee or payment process.


We continue to lend up to a maximum of 95% LTV across all new mortgages and further advances.

Product transfers

You can complete product transfers for customers on a payment break. Simply call our intermediary enquiry line on 0345 266 8928* and a specialist will take you through the process.

We’ll email you the illustration, and then we’ll email the Offer to you and your customer. They can sign electronically, so there’s no need to post anything back to us.

Remote working

In line with government advice, where possible, teams are working remotely from home. This includes underwriters and some of our support teams. Our Telephone BDMs and Intermediary Enquiry Line are still currently working as normal.


Our panel of valuers can carry out physical valuations throughout the UK where both national and regional lockdown rules permit them, and where it’s safe for them and the occupier in accordance with each nation’s Government Covid-19 regulation guidance. If it’s not deemed safe, rather than delaying the case, desktop valuations will be carried out for applications up to and including 85% LTV. All applications must have a physical inspection where the requested LTV exceeds 85%. For cases where, for Covid-19 regulatory reasons a physical inspection isn’t possible, the valuation will be placed on hold until a time that one can be carried out, in accordance with the product’s requirements.

Our usual process remains unchanged and we’ll only issue a valuation report where a physical inspection has taken place. Please speak to your BDM or Telephone BDM for advice.

In order to maintain service levels and to support your business, we’ll continue to pay standard mortgage valuation and revaluation fee-scales. We’ll also, where possible, use all of our panel firms in order to maintain coverage across the UK.

Title deeds

Title deeds are currently being worked on following our normal process, but we may be a bit slower than usual. Key information is available on the Land Registry for registered cases in England and Wales.

Where should advisers direct customers?

We recommend that you direct them to our support page for mortgage customers impacted by Covid-19 or their customer hub for further information. 

If they need immediate financial support, please ask them to contact us on 0800 169 9722. 

Calls are recorded for training and monitoring purposes. Lines are open 9am– 5pm Monday to Friday. 03 calls cost no more than calls to geographic numbers (01 or 02). Calls from landlines and mobiles are included in free call packages.

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