Darlington Intermediaries ‘open for business’ as specialist lending continues

DARLINGTON Building Society is forging ahead with establishing itself as a specialist lender despite the global challenges of the coronavirus crisis.

While some lenders are pulling out of the market in the midst of the lockdown, DBS has sent out a confident message to brokers: “We are still open for business.”

Ben Blyth, who has a wealth of specialist lending experience, was appointed as the award-winning Society’s first Head of Intermediary Distribution in mid-2019, and Darlington launched an expansive new lending policy in February.

“Darlington Intermediaries” was given its own brand identity as part of the Society, with the promise to “make complex cases simple”.

Ben said: “These are obviously difficult times, but new business has performed steadily during the lockdown period, and we are confident about our position as a specialist lender, with the criteria to back it up.”

From May 1, the Society will be dropping its standard variable rate (SVR) from 5.95% to 5.30%, passing on the 0.65% reduction from the Bank of England.

The Society has taken this opportunity to review its products and intends to maintain the same competitive pay rates across most of the range and continue lending.

Key areas of lending are:

  • Standard residential up to 90% LTV
  • Specialist residential up to 80% LTV
  • Buy-to-let up to 70% LTV
  • Shared ownership up to 95% loan to share

Many lenders have either pulled out of lending or restricted their criteria with nervousness over house prices and the pausing of physical valuations.

However, another core objective of Darlington Intermediaries is to “keep people moving”. It has, therefore, also introduced desktop valuations to get the best possible estimate of property values from data-driven research, carried out by experienced surveyors.

“Our products are competitive and, with the flexible criteria we have established this year – now supported by desktop valuations – we are confident that a good number of applications can go ahead and we can support intermediaries to reinvigorate the property market,” said Ben.

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