28/04/09 - The Co-operative Bank leads the way in responsible lending and sees 50% fall in repossessions
Against a backdrop of the mortgage industry prediction of 75,000 repossessions this year, new figures from The Co-operative Bank Mortgages show that despite the current economic climate, the number of repossessions at The Co-operative Bank has actually halved over the past 12 months.
Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders estimated that the number of repossessions during 2009 will jump by 67% to 75,000. However, over the last 6 months The Co-operative Bank has only been involved in 8 repossessions* (0.015% of its mortgage book), compared to 16 repossessions in the preceding 6 month period.
Terry Jordan, Head of Mortgages at The Co-operative Bank, said: “Our repossession figures as a proportion of our mortgage book are extremely low, when compared with the industry average. We are committed to helping people stay in their homes and we always view repossessions as a last resort. Our responsible approach to lending has also resulted in a strong mortgage book as we believe in only lending to people what they are able to afford.”
“If any of our customers do face difficulties, we have a dedicated team of personal mortgage advisors able to give advice to customers on how to manage their finances and deal with any problems at the earliest stage.”
The Co-operative Bank personal mortgage advisors work on a pre-booked appointment system, with each initial consultation lasting for approximately one hour. This gives the advisors a complete picture of the customers’ situation. Each case is different and we provide customers with a personalised solution, arranging a new payment plan, changing the way the customer makes a payment or even changing their type of mortgage.
The Co-operative Bank has the following tips to help homeowners who may be experiencing difficulty with their mortgage payments:
- Let your mortgage provider know as soon as possible if you are having problems repaying your mortgage or think that you might experience problems shortly.
- Seek debt advice if you would like help with managing your finances.
- Make sure you keep any other people paying the mortgage, and anyone guaranteeing the mortgage, up to date with what is happening.
- Keep to the payment plan you agree with your mortgage lender, or tell them if there is a change in your circumstances which may affect the arrangement.
- Check whether you can get any state benefits or tax credits which could help to increase your income.
- If you have an insurance policy, check whether it would help with your payments.
For further information contact:
The Co-operative Financial Services Press Office
Tel: 0161 903 3808
Fax: 0161 903 2751
E-mail : email@example.com
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*Based on internal data from April 2008 – March 2009
The split for repossessions are as follows:
October 2008 - March 2009: 8 repossessions (0.015%) of which:
2 were standard repossessions
4 were voluntary possessions
2 were abandoned.
April 2008 - September 2008: 16 repossessions (0.03%) of which:
9 were standard repossessions
3 were voluntary possessions
4 were Buy to Let properties taken into receivership (3 properties for one customer)
The Council of Mortgage Lenders forecasts for 2009:
By the end of 2008 the CML expects 210,000 households to be more than three months in arrears, and this number is expected to increase to 500,000 by the end of 2009.
They anticipate the number of repossessions to be around 75,000 in 2009 - although a significant number of these are likely to be cases where the property is abandoned or where property fraud has been perpetrated, and a sizeable share are expected to be buy-to-let mortgages. Lenders are committed to ensuring that repossession is avoided wherever possible, where the household is committed to working with their lender to get back on track. Even though lenders will seek to minimise repossessions in 2009, the worsening economic backdrop does point towards an inevitable increase in the number of cases where a sustainable alternative solution cannot be found.
For more information on The Co-operative Bank mortgages please visit
The Co-operative Financial Services is part of The Co-operative Group, which is the world’s largest consumer co-operative with over 3 million members. CFS currently has 5.5m customers and employs over 8,000 staff. It has 116 retail and corporate branches/centres and over 1,000 face to face financial advisers. It has £38bn of assets under management across its retail and corporate business areas.