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Nationwide to cut 150 mortgage adviser jobs despite housing boom

·2 min read
London, UK, May 31, 2020, High Street Branch Of Nationwide Building Society, directors Of The Company Think customers Missing Payments On Mortages Should Be Black Listed
150 mortgage adviser jobs are on the block at Nationwide amid a shift to digital consultations. Photo: Getty

The sea shift to online services has led Nationwide (NBS.L) to cut 150 mortgage adviser jobs, despite the recent boom in the housing market in the UK.

The move, first reported by the Mail on Sunday, will lead many of the consultants to face voluntary redundancy.

The shift comes with a move to online consultations rather than face-to-face meetings following increased digitisation due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The building society currently carries out more than half of mortgage consultations through video conferencing. It plans to speak to most mortgage customers online in the future.

The report said that around one in four mortgage consultants employed by the lender face losing their job. 

Nationwide had not returned requests for comment at the time of publication. 

Read more: Two-thirds of UK shops face looming legal action on rents

Figures released at the start of May showed mortgage borrowing in the UK hit £11.8bn ($16.4bn) in March, the strongest month since records began in 1993. The previous peak was in October 2006 at £10.4bn.

Data released by the Bank of England showed mortgage approvals for house purchases were 82,700 in March, lower than the recent peak of 103,100 in November 2020, but higher than in February 2020 (73,000).

Meanwhile, individuals continued making net repayments of consumer credit in March amounting to £500m.

The effective rate on new personal loans remained low at 5.03%, compared to 7.03% in January 2020, the Bank said.

April saw the highest monthly rise in average UK house prices in 17 years.

According to Nationwide's house price index annual house price growth rebounded to 7.1% in April, from 5.7% in March.

The average price in April stood at £238,831. This was up 2.1% compared with March and up £15,916 over the past 12 months.

Nationwide's data covers the period UK chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the tax break until June, as well as a new 95% mortgage guarantee scheme to help those with a 5% deposit get on the property ladder.

The hot property market has also helped buoy banks' financial results. Britain's major UK banks — Lloyds (LLOY.L), HSBC (HSBA.L), NatWest (NWG.L), Barclays (BARC.L) — all delivered forecast beating results, partially propped up by the housing rush.

Watch: How much money do I need to buy a house?