“We welcome the news that the figures for arrears and possessions continue to decline. These figures reflect both the considerable efforts made by lenders to treat borrowers in difficulty with forbearance, and the tighter affordability rules introduced by the financial services regulator, which has prevented some borrowers from over-stretching themselves and getting into difficulty with mortgage repayments.
“Last week’s base rate increase inevitably prompted speculation that arrears and possessions might begin to tick up once again. However, this data tells us that it is highly likely that the vast majority of households with a variable mortgage rate would still be able to cope if their lender passes on a small rate hike.
“Lenders are acutely aware that any change to mortgage rates, combined with the impact of rate rises on other loans, can put pressure on household debt. This underlines the importance of borrowers having access to suitable mortgage deals – which is why our members recently pledged to do more to help a minority of UK borrowers who are stuck on reversion rates.”
Notes to Editors
The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) is the trade association that represents mortgage lenders who lend to UK consumers and businesses via the broker channel. Its membership of 44 banks, building societies and specialist lenders include 18 of the 20 largest UK mortgage lenders (measured by gross lending) and account for about 90% of mortgage lending (91.6% of balances and 92.8% of gross lending).
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