Castle Trust Bank has launched new criteria to reflect that the government’s Covid Alert Level has been reduced to Level 3.
With the Alert Level currently at 3, Castle Trust has expanded its criteria to include bridge-to-let and first-time landlords. The bank is currently lending on buy-to-let assets only, up to a maximum LTV of 75% and a maximum asset value of £4m. The minimum term for loans is 3 years, although there is the option for an ERC period of just 2 years, and rates start at 4.99% as they did before the pandemic.
As with many lenders, Castle Trust took the decision to manage its risk appetite during lockdown, but now as restrictions are being lifted, the lender is re-introducing criteria to meet the demand from brokers. The bank will continue to investigate new opportunities to expand its offering as and when the Covid Alert Level falls in the future.
Last week, Castle Trust announced that it had officially become a bank following formal approval of its banking licence and that it plans to significantly grow its specialist lending as the market emerges from Covid-19.
Barry Searle, managing director of mortgages at Castle Trust, says: “I have a lot of sympathy for brokers in the current environment as so many lenders are vague about what they will and won’t lend on throughout this uncertain period. We want to be very clear and open about our lending appetite so that brokers know exactly where they stand and can submit an application to Castle Trust in confidence.
“We will continue to review our offering to ensure that we are meeting broker demand in a way that is responsible and appropriate for the environment and we’ll clearly communicate any changes so that brokers can advise their clients with greater certainty. It’s nothing flashy, but we think it’s a sensible approach to communicating and lending that will help brokers navigate what is still a very difficult situation.”