There are lots of ways we make things easier for you. Like providing information and tools that help you give your clients the right support to make the most of our services.

Mortgage support for your clients

If your clients are struggling because of interest rate rises, there’s plenty of help and support available from Skipton.

We already offer our customers the ability to switch their mortgage deal three months in advance of maturity, and now in line with the government Mortgage Charter, your clients have the option to either switch to Interest Only payments for three months or extend their mortgage term.

We may be able to offer your clients your clients with a Skipton mortgage the option of an alternative mortgage deal to help minimise their monthly payments. Please see our Product Range for more details.

To make this information easy for you and your clients to find, we have created a new Mortgage support page, where you’ll see details of everything we currently offer. This should help you to have better conversations with your clients and explain the options they have to navigate the initial price rise.

Bereavement support for your clients

If your client needs to notify us of a bereavement there’s plenty of help and support available from Skipton. To make things easier we have a dedicated customer Bereavement Support page that you can direct your client to which explains our bereavement process.

Please note that if the property is held in joint names then how the property is registered with the Land Registry will determine the document(s) we require to fully update our records, as explained below:

Joint Tenants

If the property is held and registered as ‘Joint Tenants’ then the property will automatically transfer to the other joint tenant(s) and the name of the deceased will automatically be removed from the mortgage account as part of our bereavement process. We won’t require a Grant of Probate, just a death certificate which should also be provided to the Land Registry so that they can make the necessary adjustments to the property register.

Tenants in Common

If the property is held and registered as ‘Tenants in Common’ then the share of the property belonging to the deceased won’t automatically transfer to the other joint borrower(s). Instead, it will pass according to the instructions they left in their Will. Following our bereavement process will ensure the customer is noted as deceased on our records. However, we will be unable to remove them fully from the mortgage account until we receive updated documentation from the Land Registry to confirm the property register has been updated to remove the deceased from the property title.

Please refer to our Bereavement support page for further information.

Customers with vulnerable characteristics

The FCA defines a vulnerable customer to be:

"Someone who due to their personal circumstances is susceptible to detriment or at greater risk of experiencing a poor outcome, particularly if a flexible, tailored approach is not taken when interacting or managing the individual needs of the person".

The FCA have found that 53% of UK adults show characteristics of a vulnerability. [Source: October 2020].

Vulnerable customers are more likely to have difficulty accessing services, find it hard to get the best deal, fall behind on credit commitments and be victims of scams.

What to look out for

Every customer’s circumstances are different. Some vulnerabilities are temporary and some are permanent. Whether it’s because of a health condition, a life event, their financial or emotional resilience, or personal capability, it helps if you know what vulnerabilities to look out for.

Examples of vulnerabilities:

  • An illness that affects how a person can carry out everyday tasks
  • A bereavement, job loss or relationship breakdown
  • Low income or savings
  • Low knowledge of or confidence in how to manage money.

Ways you can help

Once you've identified that a customer needs additional support, there are a range of different ways you can support and protect their interests.

  • Check they’re happy to discuss their situation with you
  • Ask them how they prefer communicating
  • Show patience and sensitivity
  • Be empathetic to their situation so you don’t offer help that’s not appropriate
  • Encourage them to ask trusted family and friends for help with explaining options
  • Explain how third-party legal support could help them understand how agreements will affect them
  • Suggest a face-to-face meeting or call if they’re not confident online
  • Gain insights and get a better understanding of their situation by asking open questions
  • Take time to ensure they understand what you’re telling them – slow down or repeat if you need to
  • Summarise the main points of what you’ve discussed
  • Suggest they take a little extra time to think over your recommendations before making a decision
  • Check they’re happy with the way your meeting is going

Offering extra support

There are several institutions available to help and support customers, some of these include;

Working together to help

Our expert team is also here to give customers any extra support they need. Where your client is comfortable doing so, provide us information on your client using the notes boxes on the eMortgage system, so that we can better support them during the application process and after.