We've outlined a five point action plan reflecting our position as the UK’s largest member-owned organisation. It's designed to protect the interests of first time buyers, maintain our top paying regular savings rate and safeguard the rates on our Help to Buy ISA and Save to Buy products, both of which are aimed at accelerating home ownership.
We'll also establish a Brexit consumer support group, combining our customer focus with representation from leading consumer bodies.
1) Minimising costs for First Time Buyers
First time buyers who save with us in our Help to Buy ISA or Save to Buy products can already obtain benefits of up to £1,750. This is in addition to any Government Help to Buy ISA bonus. We've committed to providing mortgages combining free conveyancing, free valuation, no application fees and cashback to minimise costs when borrowers are most stretched.
2) Maintaining low deposit lending
We'll continue to provide mortgages for those with a 5% deposit with a specific focus on first time buyers and existing customers moving home. Our members can save with confidence in the knowledge that, subject to our credit criteria, low deposit mortgages will be available for their first and subsequent homes. This will be done without requiring the support of Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee.
3) £10 billion a year commitment available to First Time Buyers
We'll make at least £10 billion available to lend to first time buyers, prioritising over other markets where appropriate. This will enable an estimated 100,000 young people to become home owners for the first time each year. To further support consumer confidence, we'll run a dedicated first time buyer outreach programme to help young people understand the housing market and the mortgage lending process.
4) A savers’ support package
Steps will be taken to encourage home buying and money management, even if base rates fall by 0.25%. These include a commitment to:
- Protect the rates on our Help to Buy ISA and Save to Buy products. This will help ensure the road to home ownership doesn’t get longer for those saving to buy their home.
- Maintain the present interest rates on our top paying Flexclusive Regular Saver Account.
5) A Brexit consumer support panel
We'll invite a panel of leading consumer representatives (subject to their agreement) to give constructive solutions to the challenges facing consumers as the UK’s relationship with the EU emerges. This is intended to be drawn from leading consumer bodies. It's expected that this group will produce constructive recommendations based on consumer insight to help both ourselves and policymakers better understand the challenges households face and to respond to these. Our member panel will be used to test and track sentiment and develop areas of further support.