Major bank to change mortgage rules – and hundreds of thousands of customers could benefit | The Sun

A MAJOR bank has announced a change to its mortgage rules which could benefit many of its customers.

The change affects thousands of homeowners who living in buildings with cladding.

Lloyds Banking has announced it has scrapped EWS1 certificates for those who are living in blocks of flats in England that are five floors or taller.

This will see the mortgage provider ditch its lending ban.

An EWS1 certificate grants a certain rating after high-rise properties have had an External Wall Fire Review – without this certificate, most banks won't offer the homeowner a mortgage.

Lloyds told The Sun it had made the change since new guidance was published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) on how to assess properties for fire safety.

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Jas Singh, CEO, consumer lending, Lloyds Banking Group said: "We have worked closely with housebuilders and RICS to find a solution for homeowners, so we warmly welcome the updated guidance for valuers on homes with external cladding.

"While we have continued to lend on properties with cladding where possible, this move will really simplify things for those buying homes in properties five storeys or above (11m).

"We hope this will continue to open up the market for those in affected properties, bringing peace of mind to homeowners."

People living in homes with cladding have been unable to sellsince there's been revised fire safety rules following the Grenfell Tower disaster.

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According to MoveWise, safety tests can take between 12 and 18 months and can cost as much as £45,000.

After Grenfell Tower, residents could take out loans capped at £50 a month, or £600 a year to fix issues, but you'll need to check with your local council if you can get something similar.

The Sun asked HSBC, Santander, Barclays and NatWest if they are planning on making the same changes, and we will update this story when we know more.

But the news comes as the Bank of England hiked interest rates to their highest level in 14 years this month.

The rate has gone up by 50 basis points from 3% to 3.5%, as expected.

It's the ninth time in a row that the BoE has raised interest rates to try and tackle soaring prices.

It follows the biggest single hike from 2.25% to 3% in November.

The move will make the cost of borrowing, including loans, credit cards and mortgage repayments more expensive.

But the hike is good news for savers as they may get better rates on their nest egg.

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High-street banks use the BoE base rate to work out the interest rates it offers to customers.

It means millions of households face higher mortgage bills – but the BoE's outlook for the economy has improved.

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