Halifax pledges enhanced AIP

The mandatory upgrade includes details of HBOS' banking licence consolidation – the group currently holds four separate banking licences for companies including Halifax and Bank of Scotland.

As of 17 September it will begin to operate under one banking licence. There will be no changes to brokers and their clients or HBOS' products or services, but the wording of important documentation will be amended to reflect this change.

The upgrade has also been used as an opportunity to launch enhancements to Halifax's AIP. Significantly, an AIP from the Halifax will now last for 90 days. Previously mortgage applications were credit scored at AIP stage and again at full application – a process which included the use of updated credit search data and, therefore, in some cases, resulted in changes in the score and the loan amount offered.

Now, as long as conversion to full application takes place within a 90-day period with no changes to personal data or factors which affect affordability, then the original decision to lend - including the amount, credit score and underwriting criteria - will stand.

Paul Chapman, head of sales, Halifax Intermediaries said: "Having an agreement in principle or mortgage promise that you can rely on is vital to a broker's role, and what is important to brokers is important to us. As version 8 is a mandatory upgrade we wanted to give brokers something that we know they have wanted for some time: increased certainty around our lending decision. It's another step towards making it easier for brokers to do business with us."

As of 5 September, anyone submitting business via Halifax Intermediaries online will need to upgrade to version 8. The upgrade process is quick, simple, and can be done entirely online. Instructions are available on www.halifax-intermediaries.co.uk.