Victoria launches into near-prime

As part of its expansion, Victoria has increased its procuration fees in addition to removing the caps for packagers and intermediaries, under the banner ‘straightforward, straight-through lending.’ Victoria has also adjusted its affordability criteria to five times joint income across its entire range.

To coincide with the expansion Victoria has introduced a two-year fixed rate and discount LIBOR tracker variable products, with no early repayment charge (ERC) overhangs. Its buy-to-let (BTL) product, based on self-cert income, has been enhanced to 85 per cent, with the rental yield-based products calculated on 120 per cent of pay rate.

Commenting on the expansion, Kevin Hillgren, chief executive officer at Victoria Mortgages, said: “The last year has been spent getting the service structure in place. We have now tripled our product offering and are no longer just a heavy adverse lender. We are looking at the entire non-conforming market, including the growing near-prime sector.”

Alex Forrester, managing director at Victoria, added: “As we can outsource a lot of our work to packagers, we can keep costs down, giving these benefits to borrowers. We have low operating costs, good product service and structured products and we can react quickly to the changing needs of the market, as well as offering a decision turnaround of 24 hours.”

However Cath Hearnden, director at My Mortgage Direct, said the non-conforming market was becoming a busy market for lenders. She said: “The near-prime market is becoming too busy. It is an easy market for lenders to make money, as borrowers now do not need much adverse credit to be considered a near-prime rather than prime customer.”