Northern Rock Want Their Borrowers To Remortgage

I already mentioned in a previous blog article that Northern Rock weren’t going to be offering their customers a competitive new deal when it comes to the end of their existing product term. However, it was all a tad wishy-washy because I was told by a competitor of Northern Rock, The Halifax. Well, a few days ago I got confirmation from the horse’s mouth that what I was told was in fact true. The horse being, Ron Sandler, the Executive Chairman of Northern Rock. It turns out that NR really are trying to kick us (existing borrowers) out of the door. Of course, it makes sense, because Northern Rock need to repay their debt somehow; selling off their debt to other mortgage lenders would be a good place to start recouping.

Right, so here’s the letter I received:

Northern Rock Letter

I’m assuming all Northern Rock mortgage holders also got the same letter. I found the letter a bit ballsy. I mean, statements like the following didn’t sit well with me.

In doing so, we will continue to focus on the things we do best- running an efficient operation and providing savings and mortgage products to our customers.

You’ve got to have big, golden, diamond-incrusted balls to claim that you’re running an “efficient operation” after your company plummeted to the ground, and required mouth-to-mouth from the Bank of England to revive. If that’s “efficient” the concept of Northern Rock being insufficient worries me. Seriously, wake up, man!! What kind of crazy shit is that? You can’t just claim victory after losing in broad daylight. Oh, wait, was it some kind of “moral victory”?

Our brand name is Northern Rock and will remain so. The name carries a great deal of goodwill amongst our customers, most of who have stayed with us despite of difficulties we have faced.

Northern Rock Queues HELLO? Are you delusional? The company’s goodwill is shot to pieces, seriously. Look at your customers (refer to image on the left) panicking, attempting to withdraw their life savings. Does that look like a brand name with value? Granted, I blame the media for the hustling crowd. Those cock-suckers made every man and their dog panic when there was no real reason to. However, that’s irrelevant, and the situation is what it is right now (medias fault or not)- the goodwill remains weak.

Most of the customers that stayed with NR did so because they were guaranteed on national TV that they would not lose any money. Moreover, if your customers are based on the average human in the UK, they probably had about £10 in their account and couldn’t give two fucks because getting a bus into town to close their account would probably cost them more than losing their balance.

Inevitably, some things will have to change whilst we are in the process of repaying the Bank of England loan. In particular, because we need to reduce the size of our business, we will not always be able to offer our customers a competitive new deal when they come to the end of their existing product term.

And just a few sentences ago, it was stated that you were saying that NR will continue to provide savings and mortgage products to your customers.

Is anyone else a little confused? Anyways, I think the bottom line is that remortgaging is the way forward, and NR are cheeky little gits for acting so positive. Be a man, cry when it’s time to cry…

For those whom are coming to the end of a fixed rate plan with Northern Rock should be planning their next step to remortgaging, as I am. I’ve already been shopping around; especially since the Bank of England base rate has been dropping lately (i’m expecting more drops). I always find that Moneysupermarket.com provide a good indication of what the current competitive rates are. But of course, bear in mind that they won’t ALWAYS show the best deals on the market. Anyhow, it’s always worth checking out the mortgage section.

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3 Comments- Join The Conversation...

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Kate 27th June, 2008 @ 13:46

When you decided to remortgage, avoid the SVR - lender's standard variable rate, especially if you are coming off a fixed or discount rate. In some cases these can be as much as 2% or more above the most competitive deals for remortgages (check here www.badcredit-mortgages.org.uk ) and lenders can increase their SVRs whenever they want. You should always shop around and see if you can save money by switching to a new lender. And also get a tracker if you think rates will fall. If you believe the Bank of England base rate will continue to fall - and most people believe there are more cuts to come this year - a tracker loan will see your repayments sink with it. Unlike SVRs these rates have to respond to changes in the bank base rate. Some tracker deals also allow you to drop the tracker and lock in to a fix when you feel the time is right, so ask a broker about your options.

1
Guest Avatar
Karl Taylor 23rd January, 2009 @ 12:20

I have to say I have really enjoyed reading the comments, I am an Independent Mortgage Broker, I am dealing with new and existing clients who are coming to an end of the Northern Rock deal. Obviously, the rate they offer is priced to push any borrower away, but when looking for a new mortgage deal for my clients, if they are lucky enough to currently have sufficient equity. I have to be very mindfull of costs for my clients.
At the moment 23/01/2009 a fixed rate product should seriously considered, as any tracker rates on offer, are geared to high above the Bank of England Base rate. Remember it was only a few months ago when the base rate was at 5%, I believe within a short time we could see it that high again, the result of that hike in rates would mean many borrowers on trackers rates paying 7% or more for their borrowing.
When considering a product for a client I search the whole market and normally always tend to come up with 3 or 4 good options. The only way I can then make a recommendation is to calculate the cost of borrowing, not over he full term of a mortgage but the term of preferential rate period, I include any costs associated with the specific Remortgage.
If I follow that route every time I can comfortably recommend and demonstrate to a client a particular product over the others I found. Some may have had a lower interest rate but come with a higher arrangement fee or the opposite, a lower arrangement fee and a higher interest rate. I am very fee adverse and by working that way with my clients, they always cautious about either paying or adding a fee, but at least they know why they can balance the figures and justify a fee or not as the case may be.
Good luck in finding a decent product, anything above 95% is currently not possible.

2
The Landlord Avatar
The Landlord 23rd January, 2009 @ 12:51

Hey Karl,

Many thanks for your comments. I'm not sure if you've read in my other articles, but i'm currently on the NR SVR, which for me, is something like 5.34%. That's not too bad, since I was expecting to pay well over 7%, but then the interest rates dropped just before I was due to come off my fixed rate. So I had a good result.

I still think the base rate will drop once more, to 1%. I'm going to look to get a fixed rate then. It's a bit of a gamble, but I don't see the economy improving anytime soon.

Just a quick question. Currently, are lenders only offering 2 year fixed rates, or can you secure longer periods? I remember a few years ago, a borrower could get a fixed rate for 5+ years. But I imagine because rates are so low, they won't be offering much beyond 2 years? I'm just guessing though...

Kind regards

3

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