Article by Kirstie Brown - 18th April 2016

HSBC 24hr Mortgage Service Launched

HSBC have launched a new service in the hope that it will help house hunters get their mortgages signed off in just 24 hours. The ‘mortgage in a day’ service aims to remove the stress that a buyer is likely to face while waiting to hear whether the home loan has been approved.

This in-branch service is now available in branches across the country, as well as over the phone. In the majority of cases where customers are able to provide all the documents needed for a case to be approved locally, it will be able to provide both a one stage mortgage appointment and one day approval, the bank has claimed.

Applicants will attend an in-branch interview that would typically last around 3 hours and the lender will come back with an answer within 24 hours – in some cases, it may well be the very same day. One of the bank’s mortgage specialists will take the customer through the process, then to ensure that the customer has all the correct documents needed, the bank will call 24-48 hours before the scheduled meeting to remind them what to bring. The onus would be on the applicant to get together all the relevant documents and information required, including proof of identity, employment and earnings and information on the home they want to purchase.

For millions of buyers, securing their home balances on the yes or no of the mortgage lender so any way to speed up this process will no doubt be welcomed with open arms. The service is available across all residential mortgage applications, however it will not be available for those who are self-employed, under 18 or non-EU nationals (unless they hold an HSBC Premier account).

Another drawback is that you may also have to travel further than your local HSBC branch for the interview as only 547 out of the bank’s 900 branches offer the service. Appointments are also likely to be unavailable at a moment’s notice with applicants typically waiting a few days for an interview – however this can be longer during busier periods. In the more unusual cases, a mortgage would not be approved if it needs to be referred to the bank’s underwriting team.

Tracie Pearce from HSBC says, "We want to make a mortgage approval process as easy as possible so people have one less thing to worry about during what can be a stressful process. Getting a mortgage approved in less than 24 hours with our Mortgage in a Day service can make all the difference in helping house hunters achieve their goals more quickly, leaving more time for them to get on with the rest of their lives.”

Research commissioned by HSBC in April – carried out among 2,022 UK homeowners and house hunters - found that it takes 26 hours for most people to decide to make an offer on a house. This is the same amount of time spent deciding whether or not to buy a pair of shoes. One in ten made the decision to buy a house in under 2 hours once they had seen the property. The decision to buy a house is a huge decision which is made quickly, but the actual process is notoriously long winded and complicated – the average house hunt taking up to 89 days.

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