Coronavirus - How we can support customers

24 March 2020

We appreciate you might be worried about the impact of coronavirus and wanted to get in touch and give you an update on some of our services following the latest Government guidance. Please take time to read this full update as there are several things we need you to know.

Supporting our partners, customers and colleagues is our priority at this time. Our BDMs continue to be available for their brokers over the phone, but are working flexibly so we may need to return your call.

Revised Opening Times

To keep our colleagues safe, we have also had to make some changes to our service teams and call centre opening hours. We remain open, but if you need to get in touch, we have shortened our contact centre opening hours to 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Rest assured that we’re committed to maintaining our high levels of service through these uncertain times.

Don’t forget that you can find the latest status of an application in VMO using our case tracking updates. You can find our latest service standards on our website. Or if you do need to call us, you can find our contact details here.

We’re monitoring the situation closely and will be in touch if there are any changes.


Following the updated Government guidance to “stay at home”, our valuation panel managers have now stopped all physical valuations with immediate effect. Any customers who have a valuation booked will be contacted by the valuer and updated on the current position.

We are working through alternative options such as desktop surveys and AVMs where appropriate. We will update as soon as possible.

In the meantime, if we have already received the valuation report on a case, then we will process these as normal. For any applications that are fully packaged, but outstanding the valuation report, we’ll put the case on-hold for up to 14 days. We’ll reassess the situation on an ongoing basis.

Customers can cancel their pipeline applications if they have concerns about the ability to purchase or remortgage a property at this time. Any valuation or product fees already paid will be refunded.

Payment Holidays

If your clients are experiencing financial difficulties due to the current coronavirus situation, we’re here to help and are offering payment holidays for up to three months. Please direct customers to our website for more details.

As you’d expect, our contact centres are extremely busy at the moment, so using the website to request a mortgage payment holiday is the fastest way for one to be put in place. We’ve introduced a simple online form for impacted customers to complete. It takes just two minutes to complete and we will be in touch with your client directly to confirm when their payment holiday is set up.

Before going ahead with this, it’s important to remember that interest will continue to be charged during the payment holiday. At the end of the payment holiday period, we will work with our customers to agree the best way to repay any additional interest incurred and to make up any payments that have been deferred. This could include increasing payments over the remaining term or extending the overall term of the mortgage.

We will ensure that the payment holiday does not negatively impact credit files. A payment holiday isn't a missed payment so there are no penalties. If a customer misses subsequent payments, we will waive any fees or charges. Payment holidays are available to all residential and buy-to-let mortgage customers.

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