Loans and Finance

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Small Ray of Hope

The beleaguered property market and those attempting to buy/remortgage were offered a small ray of hope yesterday as First Direct, part of HSBC, resumed selling mortgages to new customers six weeks after it suspended sales on 1 April.

The suspension arose because of the deluge of new applicants that it had received.

Chris Pilling, First Direct's chief executive, told the BBC that they had processed a year's worth of applications in just three months.

"Last month we took the bold decision to withdraw from mortgage sales to non-customers to allow us to process the huge number of enquiries we had received.

We've now assessed all the loan applications outstanding from 1 April and earlier and let everyone know the outcome

In another glimmer of hope, the Halifax will reduce interest rates by 0.15% on some offers for existing borrowers seeking to remortgage as from Wednesday.

Not much maybe, but for hard pressed borrowers at least it is in the right direction.

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