This week’s Personal Column features: 

We’ve been shortlisted… | Growth figures raise chances of rate rise | Understanding the maximum amount of capital your clients can borrow | Take the uncertainty out of portfolio lending with Precise Mortgages | BuildLoan found the perfect solution for this scenario | Onshore bonds: still going strong | The need for Elite GI advisers| Simple underwriting for people with raised blood pressure | ALPS Enhancements – Our ongoing commitment to you | Saving money for Christmas

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Personal Touch News

We’ve been shortlisted…

We’re delighted to announce that we’ve been shortlisted as a finalist for the ‘Mortgage Network of the Year’ award.

The Mortgage Introducer Awards are considered to be the best of British and the jewel in the crown of the UK mortgage industry.  This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase and celebrate our partnership and to receive industry-wide recognition for your hard work and focus on quality.

So, how can we win?

To make the final shortlist, and ultimately win this category, we need your votes by 05 November!

  • Select ‘Mortgage Network of the Year’ on the left hand menu.
  • Choose Personal Touch by clicking on the star on the top left-hand corner of our box. You may vote in as few or as many categories as you like.
  • To fast forward to the end of the process, simply click on the final category and submit your votes!

You can vote for us every 24 hours – please vote as many times as you can to increase our chances of winning.

Thank you in advance for your support.

Source: Personal Touch Update

Finance News

Growth figures raise chances of rate rise

The UK’s economy had higher than expected growth in the three months to September – increasing the chances of a rise in interest rates in November.

Gross domestic product (GDP) for the quarter rose by 0.4%, compared with 0.3% in each of 2017’s first two quarters, according to latest Office for National Statistics figures.

Economists said the figures were a green light for a rate rise next week.

If it happens, it will be the first rise since 5 July 2007.

Read the full article here

Source: BBC News (published 25th October 2017)


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Mortgage News

Understanding the maximum amount of capital your clients can borrow


BTL is ever growing in respect of its complexity and regulatory requirements including data collection and document retention. BM solutions has recently launched a video on the website to help advisers navigate the calculator to understand the maximum amount of capital their clients can borrow to purchase their property based on their personal tax liability.

Personal income, including income from land and property and gross annual rental income is now used in the lending decision and it’s important that it’s keyed accurately and the relevant documentary evidence is kept on file. This video will help advisers understand how to key income for employed, self-employed and retired clients when choosing to place their BTL business with BM.

The video is available for networks to use in their own portals / weekly news items via the following

Portfolio Landlords (4 – 10 properties)

Don’t forget, BM also recently introduced portfolio landlords policy as a result of the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) Underwriting Standards for BTL mortgage contracts. The basic criteria for portfolio landlords is as follows:

  • Four mortgaged properties but no more than 10 BTL mortgaged properties including the new application to BM Solutions.
  • Minimum earned income of £30,000 – Income defined as – earned income from employment or self-employment, including taxable profit from the property portfolio, pension income; investment income.
  • Maximum aggregate portfolio of 75% LTV.
  • Minimum aggregate portfolio Rental Cover Ratio (RCR) of 145% stressed at 5.5%.

For all portfolio landlord applications a “Customer Profile Form” (CPF), must be accurately completed and uploaded to Intralinks along with proof of income, deposit and any other documents requested at the same time as submitting a new application.

Both mortgaged and unencumbered properties must be declared on the CPF – and will be included within the assessment of aggregate LTV and RCR. Please check to ensure that the case adheres to all points of the new portfolio landlords’ policy before submitting.

For more information, speak to your National Account Manager or visit

Source: BM Solutions Newsletter (20th October 2017)

Take the uncertainty out of portfolio lending with Precise Mortgages


Precise Mortgages’ easy to use portfolio calculator gives you an advance indication of whether your customer’s portfolio meets our criteria before you submit an application.

Click here to try it now:

–           Five questions

–           Indication given in just a few seconds

–           Reassurance before submitting a case

Precise Mortgages also offer the same great Buy to Let Mortgage criteria:

–           Up to 20 Buy to Let Mortgages to a combined value of £5m with Precise Mortgages

–           No limit on size of existing portfolio

–           Licensed and unlicensed HMOs accepted up to 8 bedrooms

–           Limited Company applications with no maximum number of director dependant shareholders under the age of 25

Visit Precise Mortgages dedicated Portfolio Lending page here.

To discuss a case click here to find your local BDM.

Source: Precise Mortgages Newsletter (23rd October 2017)

BuildLoan found the perfect solution for this scenario


Scenario 1:

Andrew Wright, a Directly Authorised Broker called on behalf of his retired client, Mr Alexander. His client was looking to downsize and had seen a property he wanted to buy straightaway but didn’t have the cash until he has sold his current home. The client was concerned about the speed of the sale of his existing property, as the seller of the house he was looking to buy wanted a quick sale.

Find the answer to this scenario and others at

Source: BuildLoan Newsletter (18th October 2017)

Wealth News

Onshore bonds: still going strong


At the recent Personal Touch Wealth Conference, it was briefly mentioned that the “old fashioned” onshore investment bonds might be coming back into their own due to possible changes in dividend allowance.

Currently, an annual dividend amount of £5,000 can be received tax free. It is thought likely that the November 2017 Budget will see the re-introduction of a reduced level of £2,000 per annum tax free dividend. The advantage for onshore investment bonds is that they do not have to pay tax on dividends.

Of course, an ISA, pensions and other tax-advantaged investments should be first port of call – so the following is about clients who have already taken advantage of those products.

The full article can be found here

Source: New Model Adviser (24th October 2017)

Protection News

Simple underwriting for people with raised blood pressure

We’re making it even easier to do business by making it simpler for people with raised blood pressure to get life insurance.

Over 16 million people* in the UK have raised blood pressure so it’s no surprise that it’s the most common medical condition people tell us about on their applications for life insurance.**

At AIG Life we keep on top of medical advancements and are always looking for ways to incorporate them in our underwriting.  This has enabled us to make changes to our blood pressure underwriting to make it even easier for people who have been diagnosed with high blood pressure to get the insurance they need quickly and easily.

We’ve improved our system to allow most applicants to get a decision immediately. These changes will mean over 2,000 more people a year getting an answer straight away without the need for a GP report.

** This means a better customer experience and less delays.

If raised blood pressure isn’t controlled there’s an increased risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack or stroke. Where blood pressure is controlled by treatment this risk is significantly reduced and most cases will be accepted at standard rates. An increase in premium will only apply if there’s an indication that the blood pressure isn’t controlled by treatment or the diagnosis was very recent.

This change follows on from the underwriting changes to our diabetes rule we made last month and there are further underwriting improvements planned to make it even easier for people living with chronic medical conditions to get the insurance they need.

If you wish to discuss this subject further please contact our Business Development Team on 0345 600 6829.

Source: AIG Newsletter (20th October 2017)

ALPS Enhancements – Our ongoing commitment to you

Following feedback from the adviser community we’re excited to tell you about all the enhancements we’ve made so far to our tracking service on Aviva Life Protection Solutions. This is all part of our continuous commitment to make protection business easier for you and your clients.

Introducing email alerts

Tracking now provides over 100 new business notifications. To help you manage the wide range of alerts now available, as our service collates all actions taken and sends them to you.

New business alerts

New business alerts keep you updated on any actions being taken prior to acceptance, as it happens straight from our back office to your inbox.

Existing business alerts

These alerts are generated on policies on risk, taken from your EB notifications screens within tracking.

Underwriting display enhancements

When looking in to types of calls we receive daily, one of the most common requests is for details on underwriting decisions; the changes we introduced have made more information available and easier for you to view.

  • We’ve introduced colour coding based on the policy decisions
  • We now show before and after premiums so you can see how ratings have affected the sum assured or premiums.
  • Underwriting decisions are now displayed in a table, making it much easier to read
  • We’ve added ticks and crosses so you can see at a glance where a benefit has been accepted or declined.

Notification generated when medical evidence received

We introduced the change in 2016; this alongside the underwriting displays was one of the most common requests received to our call teams. Previously tracking would only show when we had requested any required evidence to Medicals Direct and when they had been completed and received. These now keep you up to date throughout the process, from when your client is contacted for an appointment, to when requirements completed and results are received.

These updates include:

  • Evidence requested
  • Evidence received
  • Placed on hold
  • Appointment arranged
  • Appointment cancelled
  • Appointment not attended

To help you understand these changes, we have a systems guide and tracking guide available.

Find out more at

Source: Aviva News (23rd October 2017)

General Insurance News

The need for Elite GI advisers

We hope your October is living up to its reputation as being the busiest month for transactions! As you know, we’re dedicating this month to helping our brokers become “GI Elite” – so that they have a great end to the year.

But why is this important, and why is there a need for Elite GI advisers you may ask. Put simply, clients need sound financial advice. Without it, they end up paying over the odds for cover that doesn’t go far enough – or, have no cover in place whatsoever. This is especially worrying considering the damage that Storm Ophelia has caused to parts of the British Isles.

We’ve included a powerful infographic below which shows exactly why Elite GI advisers are needed – some of the statistics are frightening in my opinion.

For any questions please get in touch with Mark Hutchings, Head of Sales and Distribution at Unisure. Email:  Telephone: 0344 844 3844


Source: Unisure Newsletter (9th October 2017)

And Finally

Saving money for Christmas

After the fun of Christmas is over, many of us are left facing a hefty bill in the New Year. It can be hard to avoid using credit to pay for the festive season but saving in the run up will help soften the blow in January.

Click here to read the full article

Source: The Money Advice Service (published 24th October 2017)

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