Standard Life calls for affordable borrowing

07 November 2006
Standard Life Bank has called on mortgage providers to lend only what borrowers can afford.

The affordability criteria for assessing the responsible lending level are more complex than simply evaluating the would-be borrower's income, according to Standard Life chief executive Anne Gunther.

Standard Life will take into account "a mortgage applicant's full financial circumstances," said Ms Gunther.

"As a responsible lender we believe it makes far more sense" to look at multiple factors including "any money they owe, financial commitments and earnings" as indicators of month-by-month affordability, she said.

"We would like to see all providers adopting this method of lending as 'best practice'," she added.

Lending on the basis of salary multiples has been under scrutiny in the last week since Abbey announced a mortgage lending scheme which offers applicants up to five times their current salary.

Abbey's highest lending levels, which aim to bring rising house prices back within people's affordability bracket, apply only to those with an income over £60,000 and able to put down a minimum 25 per cent deposit.

The Standard Life approach would involve using a wider range of criteria to determine lending level.

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