With average house prices almost eight times the average earnings of a full-time worker, we understand that getting on the property ladder and even moving home remain a challenge for many. To help tackle this, we took many steps last year to help our customers through this challenging process.
In September, through our Accord brand we launched a range of market leading Help to Buy mortgages, available exclusively to people who are buying a new property through the government’s Help to Buy scheme. Alongside these, our new Help To Buy ISA mortgage, which is exclusively for first-time buyers, offers a preferential deal for those who've saved using a Help To Buy ISA account, irrespective of the provider. This means they benefit from a preferential mortgage rate, as well as the government bonus that comes with the Help To Buy ISA.
In conjunction with these new mortgages, we have changed our criteria to allow borrowers purchasing new build properties to have just a 10% deposit, compared to 15% previously. As we know new build properties can encounter delays, we will now reissue mortgage offers for these properties for a further six months, providing the customers’ circumstances haven’t changed. We have also set up a specialist team of new-build underwriters and an expert help desk to ensure customers get the specialised support they need. These improvements have helped our customers buy 1,937 new build homes in 2018, an increase of 22% compared to the previous year.
We’re continuing to build on the success of our apprenticeship scheme
Our colleagues volunteer their time in schools to improve young people’s financial education.
Colleagues swap their beds for sleeping bags to raise money for End Youth Homelessness.
The way consumers use financial services is evolving, leading to some necessary changes for us to meet our customers’ changing needs.
Hundreds of our colleagues take on our Peak District challenge for End Youth Homelessness.
We’re working towards our ambition of creating an inclusive work environment, where all colleagues can contribute to the Group’s success.
We are supporting homeless young people this Christmas as part of our charity partnership with End Youth Homelessness (EYH).
With EYH, we have housed 15 young people since launching in June.
We've launched a new Later Life Planning product, Pre-paid funeral plans.
Building on the success of our apprenticeship scheme, we’ve opened 24 new positions across 10 different business areas.
We are proud to have been a double winner at the Third Sector Business Charity Awards 2016.
Our six Savings Pledges reflect how we believe savings institutions should behave.
Over 1,300 solar panels installed at our Bradford and Peterborough offices .
Everyday Thanks was launched in September 2015 as part of our Group’s 150th birthday.