Mortgage and Insurance Blog

Date - 06th April 2021

Written by Richard Johnson


Hello again readers, 

I hope you are all keeping safe and well and If you need any assistance with your mortgage finance or insurance needs, please feel free to email / call me and I will be happy to help.

It has been a busy week or so in the interest rate world, Leeds, Tipton, Scottish Widows, TSB, Newcastle, Leek, Post Office, Earl Shilton, Principality, Accord, Newbury, Ipswich and Nottingham have all announced recent changes.


In criteria news, Leeds Building Society has reduced its interest cover ratio (ICR) from 145% to 125% on buy-to-let mortgages where the applicant is a basic rate taxpayer, and from Accord, an applicant’s BTL portfolio can be classed as self-financing (and excluded from the affordability assessment) where rental income is 145% or more of the BTL mortgage payment based on an interest-only rate of 4.5%

Skipton International has extended its buy-to-let mortgage lending criteria on UK property to 75% loan to value (previously 70%) on all loans up to £1,000,000.

TSB have made changes to maximum age of an applicant at the end of the mortgage term.

Clydesdale and Virgin have made changes to their visa requirements.


In wider news, Paragon Banking Group PLC has completed a GBP150.0 million green bond sale. The ten-year bonds are priced at 4.375% for the first five years. The proceeds will be used for green loans that incentivise landlords to mitigate the effects of climate change, Paragon said.

And nicely linked is the news that Paragon Bank has launched a range of 80% loan-to-value (LTV) buy-to-let mortgages, including for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), for properties with an energy performance rating of A to C.

Together has announced the completion of its first small balance commercial mortgage-backed securitisation. The £200m securitisation is made up of first and second charge mortgages backed against small value commercial, residential and mixed used properties in England, Scotland and Wales.



In Insurance new, claims data from Aegon shows the insurer paid out on 96% of all life claims in 2020 to 807 families and businesses, representing payments amounting to £81.3 million.

Aegon recorded a 17% increase in the volume of life protection claims received during the year compared to 2019. Cancer was again the most common cause of death for a life claim (40%), followed by heart-related conditions (21%) and respiratory-related deaths (14%).

Simon Jacobs, underwriting and claims director at Aegon, noted that while the Covid-19 virus contributed to some of the increase in life claims, the pandemic did not account entirely for the 17% year-on-year increase. "Of the life protection claims we received coronavirus was shown on 12% of death certificates as the cause of death. However, it's possible that it could have been a contributing factor in a larger number of claims, even though it wasn't mentioned on the death certificate," said Jacobs.


I hope you found this post of interest and feel free to get in touch with me if you need any help with your mortgage or insurance needs,


All the very best,



Richard Johnson

Cert CII (MP), CeCM, AdvCemap, CeRGI

Mortgage and Insurance Consultant.

Mobile Phone ; 07881802962

Office : 0208 245 8464 direct dial

Email :




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