Market Update –  M&A action is back in a big way in the mortgage world! (That is Merger & Acquisition, not the place where you buy your chinos). Last week Virgin Money was acquired by CYBG, the parent company that owns Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank for a deal worth £1.7 Billion. Interestingly, they have decided to run with the Virgin brand, so Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank will be phased out on the high street in time. The latter will lead to many Whippet yielding, Flat cap wearing, proud Yorkshire-folk to look misty eyed at the newly re-branded Virgin Money branch and set of a reminiscence of the ‘good old days’ of Yorkshire Bank.

Progress does come at a cost. Luckily us Londoners don’t have such attachment, as most of the High Street Banks in London have long since closed and are now coffee shops pumping out “almond milk-extra hot-flat white’s” for close to £5 a pop. Anyway, the point being, this is good news for the market as lenders are still showing great appetite to increase their lending and footprint, despite the doom and gloom in the press. This will also create a bank of such a scale they could truly challenge the ‘big 6’ lenders, which can only be a good thing for the market and consumers.
Rate Update –  Pretty flat on the rate front last week. Nominal decreases in Libor (at 0.803% as of 19/10) and equally nominal movements in SWAP RATES (2 year at 1.206% and 5 year at 1.531% both at 08/10), none of which should have any impact on the current range of mortgage rates in the short term.

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