The i: HSBC reinstates mortgage products for ‘limited time’

In a sign of the choppy situation in the mortgage market, the i reports that HSBC reintroduced its residential and buy to let home loans this afternoon after pulling them from the market with little notice yesterday.

They say:

In an email to brokers this afternoon, the lender said it was reinstating them for a “limited time” which i understands to be from 3pm to 5pm on Friday afternoon, although they could be pulled earlier if demand is high.

It added that once removed there would “be no products available until Monday 12 June”.

Afternoon summary

A quick recap.

Ther has been turbulence in the UK home loans market after the country’s biggest bank, HSBC, temporarily withdrawn mortgage deals until next Monday. Its “new business” residential and buy-to-let products were removed last night, so it can “stay within operational capacity”.

They were expected to return on Monday, potentially priced at higher interest rates.

An HSBC spokesperson said:

“To ensure that we can stay within our operational capacity and meet our customer service commitments, we occasionally need to limit the amount of new business we can take each day.

“Our broker products will be available again on Monday, June 12.”

However, it has now emerged that the deals could be back on the market for a little longer, today.

The i explains:

In an email to brokers this afternoon, the lender said it was reinstating them for a “limited time” which i understands to be from 3pm to 5pm on Friday afternoon, although they could be pulled earlier if demand is high.

It added that once removed there would “be no products available until Monday 12 June”.

Brokers were unhappy that the original move came with little notice. HSBC originally gave about four hours’ notice, only to bring the shutters down after two hours after a rush of homeowners trying to secure rates.

Nationwide, the building society, increased some of its fixed mortgage rates today by up to 0.25 percentage points.

Mortgage rates continued to rise across the market today. The average rate on a two-year mortgage deal across the range of loan-to-value ratios rose on Friday to 5.82%, compared with 5.30% a month ago, financial data provider Moneyfacts reported.

There are also warnings that house prices will tumble in the next two years, with credit ratings agency Moody’s forecasting a 10% decline.

In a new report, Moody’s said:

“Persistently high inflation and the recent spike in lending rates will trigger a correction in the UK housing market.”

Estimated disposable income of an avg mortgage holder (after paying mortgage costs) will shrink by 5% if typical rates remain at around 5%. Many will be able to absorb this but lower affordability & Buy-to-let landlords may result in sales influencing 🏠prices ⬇️ @MoodysInvSvc

— Emma Fildes (@emmafildes) June 9, 2023

Economic research company Capital Economics warned that a large number of fixed-rate mortgage deals are set to expire this year, leaving homeowners vulnerable to the impact of interest rate hikes – and driving up the total cost of servicing debt.

Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz, said the turbulence in the UK mortgage market is being driven by high inflation, and expectations that the Bank of England will continue to raise interest rates to fight it.

The turmoil may scupper the government’s hopes of a pre-election feelgood factor from property market:

And in other news today….

The consumer group Which? has reported Tesco to the UK’s competition watchdog over the supermarket’s failure to provide detailed pricing information on its loyalty card offers.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta is pushing ahead with plans to launch a rival to Twitter because public figures reportedly want a similar platform that is “sanely run”. The Dalai Lama and Oprah Winfrey are on the target list for users….

Jeremy Hunt has handed the North Sea oil and gas industry a “get-out” clause from the windfall tax on fossil fuel profits if wholesale energy market prices fall back to normal levels.

Big food manufacturers in France have pledged to lower prices on hundreds of products next month after pressure from the government.

Turkey has appointed its first female central bank chief, as concerns over Turkey’s economy drove the lira to record lows.

Sales on UK high streets have turned negative for the first time in more than two years, as the cost of living squeeze hits household budgets.


Analysis: Tories can rule out any pre-election feelgood factor from property market

The path of UK house prices depends, in part, on whether unemployment remains low, our economics editor Larry Elliott writes:

If it does, the soft landing that the optimists are hoping for may materialise. If it doesn’t, prices will fall by a lot more than 5%. Either way there will be no pre-election feelgood factor from the property market for the government. The boom is over.

Cost of household debt 'will triple this year as UK mortgage rates soar'

The cost of UK household debt will treble this year as rising mortgage rates push repayments to their highest level since the financial crisis 15 years ago, The Times is reporting.

They say:

Interest payments on the £1.67 trillion households owe on mortgages, credit cards, car loans and other borrowing will grow to 5 per cent of UK household income by the end of this year, according to forecasts by the consultancy Oxford Economics.

This is up from 1.5 per cent at the end of 2021, and the highest proportion since the end of 2008, mainly as a result of a rapid rise in mortgage rates.

About one million homeowners whose fixed deals end in the second half of this year face an average rise in repayments of £5,304 a year.

More here: Cost of household debt will triple this year as UK mortgage rates soar

New figures from the property data firm LMS suggest as many as 1 million fixed-rate mortgages could end in the second half of this year - the busiest period for expiring deals since 2008. (largely because of the stamp duty holiday)

— George Nixon (@George_Nixon97) June 9, 2023

Oxford Economics forecasts an average 2-y fix of 5.4% across the second half of this year. Those who fixed two years ago were paying 1.4% on average.

— George Nixon (@George_Nixon97) June 9, 2023

Back in the financial markets, the S&P 500 index of US stocks and the tech-focused Nasdaq have both hit their highest levels of 2023.

Electric carmarkt Tesla is leading the rally, up 6% after General Motors agreed to use the Tesla Supercharger network, taking the charging system closer towards becoming an industry standard.

Yesterday, the S&P 500 entered a bull market – up 20% from its recent lows – as investors shrugged off worries that higher US interest rates could lead to a recession.

S&P 500 trades above 4320 for the first time since August 2022, up 23% from its October 2022 low. Approximately 12% away from a new all time high close. 📈🚀#Jobless #US #USA #USD #Inflation #Interest #Twitter #News #BTC #Bitcoin #Bank #Dollar #Euro #Elon #Musk #FED

— Fahad Faqeeh (@FahadFaqeeh65) June 9, 2023

Consultancy Oxford Economics predicted a 10% peak-to-trough drop in house prices, based on the BoE raising interest rates to 5%.

“This repricing of mortgage products coincides with the peak period for existing fixed rate deals ending,” said Andrew Goodwin, chief economist at Oxford Economics.

“This will maintain the squeeze on household finances, offsetting the boost from lower energy prices. It also suggests we’re likely to see an increase in financial stress and, potentially, a rise in the number of forced sales.”

According to Nationwide, UK house prices are already 4% off their peak last August.

Mortgage rates in Britain have continued to rise today, even as economists warned that rising borrowing costs would put the housing market under renewed strain.

The average rate on a two-year mortgage deal across the range of loan-to-value ratios rose on Friday to 5.82%, compared with 5.30% a month ago, financial data provider Moneyfacts said (via Reuters).

The pound is on track for its second week of gains against the US dollar in a row, lifted by expectations of higher UK interest rates.

Sterling has gained 1% against the dollar this week, and hit a one-month high of $1.2586 today.

The pound was boosted by the prospect of UK interest rates continuing to rise, while America’s Federal Reserve could potentially pause its own hiking programme.

City Index strategist Fiona Cincotta said:

“Sticky inflation raises the prospect of more interest rate hikes from the BoE, in contrast to the Federal Reserve, which is widely expected to pause interest rate hikes in June with another possible rate hike in July.”

UK lenders and homeowners will be watching the Bank of England closely over the next two weeks, ahead of its next interest rate decision on June 22.

Today, the money markets say there is a 93% chance that the BoE lifts bank rate by a quarter point, to 4.75%, which would be the 13th rise in a row.

There’s a small possibility (7%) that the Bank plumps for a half-point rise, according to current market pricing….

It’s not only the domestic property market that is feeling pressure.

The rise of hybrid working will prompt many large corporate employers to reduce their office space over the next three years, according to research from estate agents Knight Frank released earlier this week.

Most expect to shrink their global portfolios by between 10% and 20%.

📈 Lord Mayor defends growth plan
🏙️ Blackstone's London warehouse bet
🏢 Big firms cut office space@Harmsworthe on three stories from the City that you might have missed from this week ⬇️

— Bloomberg UK (@BloombergUK) June 9, 2023

Elsewhere in the global economy, Canada lost over 17,000 jobs last month as unemployment climbed for the first time since last summer.

Canada’s economy lost a net 17,300 jobs in May, new data from Statistics Canada shows, dashing expectations of a rise of around 23,000.

Among young people, aged 15 to 24, employment fell by 77,000 (-2.8%) in May.

Canada loses jobs for the first time in 9 months
- 17,300 jobs lost in May, mostly among youth
- Unemployment rate ticked up slightly to 5.2%

— Nisha Patel (@nishapatel) June 9, 2023

In another blow, the unemployment rate rose 0.2 percentage points to 5.2% in May. This was the first monthly increase since August 2022.

Canada’s economy, like the UK’s, has been hit by high inflation over the last year, prompting a series of interest rate rises to dampen demand.

Today’s report shows that Canada’s services sector lost over 40,00 jobs, led by fally in business, building and other support services, as well as professional, scientific and technical services.

Employment in the goods producing sector grew by a net 22,800 jobs, largely in manufacturing.

It’s been a challenging week in the property sector:

Halifax index negative YoY
HSBC last minute mortgage pull
Moody’s -10% UK housing forecast

— Mark Tabrett (@mrtabrett) June 9, 2023

The Bank of England has already raised UK interest rates 12 times since December 2021, as it fights inflation.

Capital Economics warn, though, that the impact of those hikes has not been fully felt yet:

Higher interest rates haven’t dented the real economy much because household incomes have been unusually strong and the interest rates households are actually paying on their loans has not yet risen much.

But there’s an element of keeping the faith here. Higher interest rates will eventually bite harder. Indeed, lots of lenders withdrew their mortgage deals this week and will soon replace them with ones carrying higher interest rates. That’s why we remain in the recession club, even if it’s a lonely place to be.

Sky: George Osborne advisory firm lands role on contested $75bn Call of Duty deal

The UK competition watchdog’s decision to block Microsoft’s takeover of Activision Blizzard annoyed both parties, but the gaming deal could prove lucrative to George Osborne’s City advisory firm.

Sky News are reporting that Robey Warshaw, where former chancellor Osborne is a partner, has landed a key role on the $69bn takeover deal.

They say:

City sources said the firm, which Mr Osborne joined as a partner in 2021, had been involved in the takeover for some time, although its role has not been publicly disclosed.

The deal has become engulfed in controversy after the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) decision to block it.

Regulators elsewhere have approved it, with Microsoft pledging a string of licensing concessions involving rival gaming platforms, prompting the technology behemoth to accuse the UK of stymying innovation.

BREAKING: George Osborne advisory firm lands role on contested $75bn Call of Duty deal

— Sky News Business (@SkyNewsBiz) June 9, 2023

Earlier this week, the president of Microsoft met with chancellor Jeremy Hunt, amid efforts to overturn the competition watchdog’s decision to block its planned takeover of Activision Blizzard, which makes Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Candy Crush.

Activision has been given permission to intervene in Microsoft’s legal battle with Britain’s anti-trust regulator over its decision to block the deal, Reuters reports today.

Microsoft’s appeal at the Competition Appeal Tribunalis expected to be heard next month, and Activision will also be able to make their case to the tribunal.

Austerity-driver Osborne joined Robey Warshaw in April 2021, and shared a £26.5m payout for his first year working there.


Russia’s Central Bank headquarters in Moscow.
Russia’s Central Bank headquarters in Moscow. Photograph: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Over in Moscow, Russia’s central bank had left its key interest rate unchanged at 7.5%, but warned that inflation risks are rising.

The Bank of Russia said that prices are rising at a faster rate, but the economy is also strengthening more than anticipated.

It says:

Current price growth rates, including the stable indicators of inflation, continue to increase. Inflation expectations of households and businesses’ price expectations remain high.

Economic activity is rising faster than the Bank of Russia’s April forecast assumed, which in large measure reflects a strong rebound in domestic demand. Accelerating fiscal spending, deteriorating terms of foreign trade and the situation in the labour market remain pro-inflationary risk drivers.

The overall balance of inflation risks has tilted even more to the upside.

The Bank of Russia adds that it could increase interest rates at its next meetings to stabilise inflation near 4%.

It estimates that the current rate of price growth is about 4% per year, but recovering consumer demand and the weak rouble (at a two-month low today) could add to inflationary pressures.

🇷🇺 #Russia extends its interest-rate pause as the central bank remains alert to inflation risks at a time of heavy government spending on the war in #Ukraine

— Russia-Ukraine Daily News (@rvps2001) June 9, 2023


The number of home loan products available in the UK was 5,056 on Friday, according to data company Moneyfacts Group Plc, Bloomberg reports, as lender rush to withdraw and reprice deals.

Bloomberg adds:

That’s about 4% lower than at the start of May, but the highest daily amount this month, suggesting some lenders may be putting deals back on the market at higher rates.

The move is the latest blow to Britain’s cash-strapped homeowners, who are already grappling with higher borrowing costs and a possible drop in house prices. Households are being forced to cut down other expenses to cover higher loan repayments, while many prospective buyers are avoiding the mortgage market altogether.

UK banks, led by HSBC, are removing mortgage deals from the market again as they prepare to reprice home loans to account for inflation

— Bloomberg UK (@BloombergUK) June 9, 2023

France strong-arms big food firms into cutting prices

Rishi Sunak was lambasted as a latter-day Edward Heath last month, after reports that the government wanted supermarkets to voluntarily limit the cost of essential food items.

But in France, the spirit of state intervention is alive and well, with Paris strong-arming large food suppliers to cut their prices.

The biggest food industry companies in France have pledged to cut prices on hundreds of products from next month, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said today, threatening financial sanctions if they break the promise.

The government is furious that prices consumers pay in supermarkets have hit record levels in recent months even though the prices industry pays for many raw materials have been declining.

A chart of the UN FAO's world price index for food
A chart of the UN FAO's world price index for food Photograph: UN Food and Agriculture Organization

Le Maire has previously threatened to claw back what he described as “undue” profits from food companies with special taxes if they did not pass on falling raw materials prices to consumers already struggling with high energy prices.

Le Maire told BFM TV on Friday:

“As soon as July, prices of certain products will go down,”

“There will be checks and there we will be sanctions for those who don’t abide by the rules,”

Le Maire mentioned pasta, poultry and oil as some of the products on which prices will be cut.

Back in the City, shares in specialist chemicals firm Croda have tumbled by 13% this morning after it issued a profits warning.

Croda’s crop protection division – which makes chemicals for the agriculture sector – has been hit by “rapid customer destocking” this year. It has also been hit by lower sales of its lipid components which go into Covid-19 vaccines.

The company, based in Snaith, Yorkshire, told shareholders it now expects pre-tax profits of between £370m and £400m this year. Analysts had expected £468m, according to Refinitiv data.

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, says economic uncertainty is hitting Croda, as well as easing demand for Covid-19 vaccine ingredients.

“The chemicals business soared during the pandemic thanks to its acquisition of Avanti Polar Lipids in July 2020. This made Croda one of the few companies able to make LMPs or lipid nanoparticles, fatty molecules used in drugs and vaccines to encase and protect the stuff in the drugs and vaccines that help people – including in mRNA treatments like the Covid vaccines made by Pfizer and Moderna.

“Inevitably the retreat of the pandemic had an impact on demand in this area and helped to dampen some of investors’ excitement around the business, even if longer-term mRNA has a role to play in other types of medicine.

Ukraine’s gross domestic product fell by 10.5% in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period a year ago, the economy ministry said today.

Reuters has the details:

The ministry said in a statement the fall was less than it had initially expected, indicating the economy was adapting to events following Russia’s invasion more quickly than expected.

The ministry said it had initially expected GDP to fall by 14.1% in the first quarter of 2023.

Over in Italy, factory output has taken a knock.

Italian industrial production index decreased by 1.9% month-on-month in April, and was 7.2% lower than a year ago.

Industrial Production in Italy decreased 1.90 percent in April of 2023 over the previous month.

— TRADING ECONOMICS (@tEconomics) June 9, 2023

That’s a disappointing economic signal, a day after the eurozone slipped into recession after contracting slightly over the last six months.

Update: ING say:

This is a poor reading, which suggests that softening demand is, for the time being, outweighing the positive effect on supply of improving supply chains and declining energy prices.


Moody’s have also analysed the consequences of a larger drop in UK house prices over the next two years.

They warn that a hypothetical 21% drop in UK house prices would increase credit risks, and also push the UK into an economic downturn.

In their new report, Moody’s say:

We simulate the macro implications of a 21% decline over two years to assess credit implications for UK issuers.

The UK sovereign would enter a recession in the second half of 2023, lasting for six quarters. Unemployment would reach 6% by end 2024, still below its peak in the global financial crisis.

The UK economy would weaken, but healthy household balance sheets and a highly competitive services sector would soften the blow. Fiscal implications would be more significant, with government debt increasing from already high levels. Banks would face higher credit losses, though a large rise in defaults is still unlikely given the limited increase in unemployment and forward-looking provisions already banks have made.

A chart simulating a 21% drop in UK house prices

Buying agent Henry Pryor estimates that house values have already taken a 10% hit so far this year:

If you think you know what your home was worth last Christmas it's probably worth 10% less today.

We won't see this in the published data until the deals that are agreed today complete & the prices are published in December.

— Henry Pryor (@HenryPryor) June 9, 2023

Pryor also reckons it’s ‘business as usual’ in the top-end of the market:

June 2023

🏚 £0-£500k Sticky

🏘 £500-£1.2m Struggling

🏠 £1.2m-£2m Still busy

🏡 £2m-£5m Confused

🏛 £5m+ Business as usual

No science, just a view

— Henry Pryor (@HenryPryor) June 9, 2023

Former Goldman Sachs banker to become Turkey’s first female central bank governor

The glass cliff hypothesis suggests that female executives are more likely to be put in charge when the company is already in a crisis.

And Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is taking the glass cliff theory into monetary policy by appointing the country’s first female central bank chief.

Hafize Gaye Erkan, a finance executive in the United States, has been appointed to head Turkey’s central bank, at a time when high inflation and a record weak currency is piling pressure on policymakers.

Erkan is a former managing director at Goldman Sachs, and is currently a board director at Marsh McLennan. She had been co-chief executive of San Francisco-based First Republic Bank until leaving at the end of 2021 – less than 18 months before the bank was rescued in this year’s panic.

Hafize Gaye Erkan ist neue Präsidentin der türkischen Zentralbank 🏦.

-> Eh. Leiterin Group Analytics für Finanzinstitute @GoldmanSachs.

-> Gründerin First Republic Fellowship, zur Förderung von jungen Frauen in Führungspositionen & eh. Präsidentin @firstrepublic Bank.


— Invest in Türkiye (DACH) (@InvestTR_DACH) June 9, 2023

Although the central bank’s first female governor, Erkan is also its fifth chief in just four years. Erdoğan has sacked several predecessors over policy differences, as he demanded interest rate cuts which have weakened the lira and driven up inflation.

Erkan will replace Sahap Kavcioglu, who spearheaded Erdogan’s rate-cutting drive that set off a historic currency crash in 2021 and sent inflation to a 24-year peak above 85% last year.

Turkish interest rates have been cut from 19% two years ago to 8.5% at present. Inflation fell last month, to 39.6%…..

The news from Turkey overnight replacing the head of the central bank has not helped the Turkish Lira. It has fallen another 1.5% to 23.50 versus the US Dollar

— Shaun Richards (@notayesmansecon) June 9, 2023

.#Turkey’s currency depreciation continues this morning as more people come to the view that, due essentially to competing claims on increasingly-scarce foreign exchange reserves, the Turkish authorities are less willing and less able to intervene in #markets to counter Lira…

— Mohamed A. El-Erian (@elerianm) June 9, 2023

High street sales turn negative for first time in more than two years

The Aylesham Centre, Rye Lane, Peckham.
The Aylesham Centre, Rye Lane, Peckham. Photograph: Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy

The UK’s cost of living crisis has driven down sales on the high streets, which turned negative for the first time in more than two years

Total like-for-like retail sales, combining in-store and online, fell by 1.5% overall compared with last May, according to business advisory firm BDO’s latest High Street Sales Tracker.

Online sales fell by 3.3%, one of the lowest results recorded outside of the pandemic, while in-store sales rose by just 1% across the month.

Given the high inflation rates, these figures suggest significant drops in volumes, explains Sophie Michael, head of retail and wholesale at BDO LLP, who called the results “extremely discouraging”.

Miichael adds:

“With three bank holidays last month and the fact that footfall has increased compared to this time last year, these results highlight the huge pressure on the consumer purse.

“The drop in online sales is also stark, recording the worst online sales results on record with the exception of the months impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The homewares sector recorded a “very poor” total fall of 9.2% in May – as shoppers shunned expensive items such as furniture and electronics. Fashion sales fell 1.5%.

Tesco reported to CMA over pricing of Clubcard offers

The consumer group Which? has reported Tesco to the UK’s competition watchdog over the supermarket’s failure to provide detailed pricing information on its loyalty card offers.

The group said the UK’s largest retailer had not clearly explained the unit price of deals for its Clubcard holders – such as the price per 100g or 100ml – so that shoppers could easily compare value for money between different sized packages, bottles, brands and retailers.

It said the lack of unit pricing could be a “misleading practice” under consumer protection regulations because it could make it difficult for shoppers to determine which was the cheapest product.

In one example, Which? found a 700g bottle of Heinz tomato ketchup in Tesco for which the label showed the standard price to be £3.90, or 55.7p per 100g. A prominent Clubcard label showed the same size bottle on offer at £3.50, but the unit price, which would be 50p per 100g, was not given.

At the same time a 910g bottle of the same ketchup on the shelf below was priced at £3.99, or 43.8p per 100g, for all shoppers, making it the cheapest option per 100g. Which? argued many shoppers would wrongly assume the Clubcard option was the best deal available.

UK house prices set to slide 10%, Moody's warns

Rating agency Moody’s has added to the dilemma facing UK housebuyers, by predicting prices will fall 10% over the next two years.

Moody’s believes that persistently high inflation and the recent spike in lending rates will trigger a correction in the UK housing market.

In a report issued last night, Moody’s say:

The combination of less affordable mortgages and high inflation putting a dent in incomes will trigger a correction in the UK housing market.

The relatively large share of short-dated or variable-rate mortgages exposes the existing stock to tightening monetary policy. Strong fundamentals such as a robust labour market, tight underwriting standards and housing supply shortages will prevent more severe credit implications.

A chart showing impact of higher rates on UK property sector

Moody’s warns that the correction in UK house prices will be more pronounced than in many other advanced economies.

That’s because the UK has a high proportion of variable or short-term fixed mortgages, compared to other countries such as Germany, the US or France where mortgages have longer maturities.

A chart showing mortgage refinancing needs

Buy-to-let landlords, who hold 8% of the UK private housing stock, will also influence house prices if a large number choose to sell.

Moody’s say:

To be eligible to refinance, landlords must comply with regulatory requirements to ensure rental income is sufficient to support mortgage payment costs. Landlords can pass on these costs to tenants, but for an average mortgage, this would mean raising rents by close to 20%, according to BOE estimates. Rents are currently increasing by around 5%.

There is anecdotal evidence that landlords are choosing to sell properties instead, putting additional downward pressure on house prices.

El-Erian: Inflation is still too high, causing mortgage turbulence

The turbulence in the UK mortgage market is being driven by high inflation, and expectations that the Bank of England will continue to raise interest rates to fight it.

So explains Mohamed El-Erian, chief economic adviser at Allianz and President of Queens’ College, Cambridge.

He told Radio 4’s Today programme:

People expect that the cost of mortgages will go up. And if you are someone who’s going to get a mortgage, you will accelerate the demand for getting that mortgage. Why pay more tomorrow, when you can pay less today?

And if you’re HSBC, you’ve seen lots of people turn up wanting mortgages and you worry about two things. One is will I make money on those mortgages? And two, can I operationally handle these.

HSBC made the judgement that its sustainability, the ability to do business under these conditions, is threatened so it took a very dramatic move.

And all this comes down to a simple fact. Inflation is still too high. And people expect the Bank of England to increase interest rates more.

UK inflation rose by 8.7% in the year to April, four times over the BoE’s 2% target.

City traders expect interest rates will rise again this month, to 4.75%, and could hit 5.5% by the end of this year.

These expectations are pushing up the yield, or interest, on short-term government bonds, which are used to price fixed-term mortgages.

With the recent leg up, the yield on 2-year US government #bonds is nearing 4.60% -- some 80 basis points above the low levels of March, April, and early May but short of the 5.07% that prevailed just before the banking tremors.
This comes ahead of two significant events next…

— Mohamed A. El-Erian (@elerianm) June 8, 2023

Mortgage turbulence: what the brokers say

UK mortgage brokers were startled by the speed at which HSBC pulled its mortgage offers for new customers yesterday.

Paul Neal, mortgages & equity release advisor at Missing Element Mortgage Services, says the move came without warning:

Yet again we find ourselves with another lender dropping out of the market until they release new products. This time with no warning.

How are we supposed to give our clients best value when a lender pulls rates with zero notice? This just highlights the importance of a minimum withdrawal period.

Ashley Thomas, director at Magni Finance, says there was a flood of demand after HSBC announced its move yesterday (which is why HSBC ended up pulling deals even earlier than planned):

Unsurprisingly, everyone has tried logging into the system following the announcement. I have been in a queue for a long time and, once I got past the initial wait, I have had several errors/issues.

It is very unfair on clients and brokers with the short notice being given. We have had the same issues before with HSBC when they gave less than a day’s notice.

Katy Eatenton, mortgage & protection specialist at Lifetime Wealth Management, fears other lenders could follow HSBC’s lead:

HSBC is another lender making changes with little notice, making it nearly impossible for brokers to service clients properly. And then to add insult to injury, they pulled them with immediate effect at 3.50pm.….

I’m praying other lenders don’t follow suit. We need to get an industry minimum notice period sooner rather than later, as the status quo simply doesn’t work for consumers.

Introduction: HSBC pulls new mortgage deals after flood of demand

Good morning and welcome to our rolling coverage of business, the financial markets and the world economy.

The turbulence in Britain’s mortgage market has escalated after HSBC temporarily withdrew all its loans with only a few hours’ notice, last night.

HSBC has removed all its residential and buy-to-let products for new customers, with deals becoming available again on Monday. Products and rates for existing customers were still available, though.

An HSBC spokesperson said:

“To ensure that we can stay within our operational capacity and meet our customer service commitments, we occasionally need to limit the amount of new business we can take each day.

“Our broker products will be available again on Monday, June 12.”

But deals are likely to return at higher rates on Monday.

It is the first time that HSBC, which accounts for almost a quarter of the home loans market, has withdrawn from the mortgage market since the aftermath of September’s disastrous mini-budget under Liz Truss’s government.

HSBC originally set a 5pm deadline for securing new deals yesterday, but after experiencing “significant demand”, at 3.45pm it pulled all the remaining deals immediately, as George Nixon of The Times explains:

A few scenes (and angry brokers) in mortgage land today as HSBC sends out first an email saying it will pull *all* mortgage deals from sale due to "significant demand" at 5pm, then another at 3.45pm saying it'll now do it immediately. Not back on-sale til Monday.

— George Nixon (@George_Nixon97) June 8, 2023

Nationwide also due to increase fixed-rates by up to 0.25% tomorrow too. (But cut trackers)

It's likely to put a dent in product availability, which bounced back today from 4,597 to 4,831 deals.

Average two-year rate up again to 5.82% today, average five-year fix up to 5.49%

— George Nixon (@George_Nixon97) June 8, 2023

Nationwide Building Society, the country’s second-largest lender, has already pushed up borrowing costs too – increasing its fixed-rate mortgage deals by up to 0.25 percentage points.

Among Nationwide’s changes, it said two, three and five-year fixed-rate deals for people with a 5% deposit will increase by between 0.01 and 0.20 percentage points, with rates starting from 4.69%.

Both lenders acted following the rapid rise in mortgage rates over the past few weeks.

Those moves are being driven by concerns that the Bank of England will continue to raise interest rates, after UK inflation remained stubbornly high in April.

Hundreds more home loan deals have been pulled by banks and building societies over the last week, while rates on new fixed mortgage deals are continuing to rise.

Also coming up today

Britain’s windfall tax on oil and gas producers is being scaled back, the government has just announced, as it tries to boost investment in the North Sea.

Currently 75%, the levy will be cut to 40% if prices consistently return to normal levels for a sustained period, but still remain in place until 2028.

The Treasury says:

This forms part of the Government’s strategy to support households with energy bills whilst providing certainty to investors to secure the long-term future of domestic energy production

The Energy Profits Levy has raised around £2.8 billion to date, helping the Government pay just under half the typical household energy bill last winter.

City investors are watching whether Vodafone and the owner of Three network, CK Hutchison, will announce a long-anticipated merger today.

The agenda

  • 9am BST: Italian industrial production data for April

  • 11.30am BST: Bank of Russia sets interest rates

  • 1pm BST: Bank of Russia holds press conference



Graeme Wearden

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
FTSE 100 index hits record high; CMA deals blow to Microsoft’s Activision takeover – business live
Blue-chip share index climbs on hopes that inflation has peaked, while Turkey’s stock market halts trading after main index drops 7%

Graeme Wearden

08, Feb, 2023 @3:40 PM

Article image
UK FTSE 100 closes at highest level since 2018; cost of living crisis and climate change top global risks – as it happened
Blue-chip share index is approaching its record high set over four years ago

Graeme Wearden

11, Jan, 2023 @4:54 PM

Article image
Markets rally as US jobs report beats forecasts; UK house prices drop again – as it happened
223,000 new jobs created in US last month, more than expected, while slowing wage growth cheers Wall Street

Graeme Wearden

06, Jan, 2023 @4:08 PM

Article image
Tesco store workers get 7% pay increase; UK property asking prices stagnating – as it happened
Supermarket chain lifts hourly pay rates again, while UK property asking prices rose by £14 in February

Graeme Wearden

20, Feb, 2023 @4:06 PM

Article image
Mortgage mayhem: NatWest increases rates as Santander temporarily pulls some deals – as it happened
Bank of England policymaker Jonathan Haskel says interest rates may need to rise higher, as mortgage providers raise rates or withdraw deals

Graeme Wearden

12, Jun, 2023 @3:27 PM

Article image
UK house prices in steepest fall since February 2021; global inflation ‘may be nearing peak’ – as it happened
House prices dropped at fastest monthly rate since February 2021, as newer buyers risk falling into negative equity

Graeme Wearden

07, Nov, 2022 @4:11 PM

Article image
TSB fined £48m over IT migration meltdown; UK house prices ‘could fall 5%’ in 2023 soft landing – as it happened
Nationwide says a ‘relatively soft landing’ in housing market is possible, while TSB is penalised for operational failings over botched move to new IT platform in 2018

Graeme Wearden

20, Dec, 2022 @1:48 PM

Article image
FTSE 100 index posts 0.9% gain for 2022; pound’s worst year since 2016 – as it happened
Blue-chip share index finishes turbulent year slightly higher, beating global markets

Graeme Wearden

30, Dec, 2022 @3:49 PM

Article image
Crypto bank Silvergate collapses; HS2 delayed; US jobless claims jump – as it happened
Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as crypto turmoil leads to an “‘orderly wind down’ and ‘voluntary liquidation’ of Silvergate bank

Graeme Wearden

09, Mar, 2023 @3:51 PM

Article image
UK house prices fall at fastest rate in two years; factories suffer ‘lethal cocktail’ – business live
Average UK house prices fell 1.4% in November, as “the fallout from the mini-budget continued to impact the market,” says Nationwide

Graeme Wearden

01, Dec, 2022 @3:03 PM