Mortgage lenders across the country have been recognised extensively in the press regarding the fantastic work they are doing to process millions of requests for payment holidays under the COVID-19 Mortgage Holiday scheme.

At a time when lenders were already dealing with the immense operational difficulties of the UK lockdown, they were then faced with a deluge of requests for forbearance from the public.

Some borrowers will have been completely unable to pay anything, whilst others may have been able to manage partial payments or even the full monthly instalment. However, as Winston Churchill famously once said: “never waste a good crisis”, and it is with this in mind that we must face the reality that some borrowers will have sought to take advantage of the payment holiday, whether they were in need of it or not.

For many lenders faced with requests in such huge volumes, standard (manual) forbearance processes won’t be able to cope, resulting in a "yes to all requests" scenario.

With the recently announced 3 month extension to the scheme, we have been contacted by many lenders rushing to find better processes and improve methods to reassess actual affordability based on up-to-date income details. There’s no better way to view a change in income than to directly view pre- and post-lockdown wages, presented with a fully verified, categorised and machine-readable Open Banking statement, instantly!

The standalone OpenBankVision (OBV) platform allows consumers to quickly provide consent, for outcome statements to instantly arrive in the mortgages agents’ mailbox, with zero integration efforts. Additionally, with a range of other options including full or partial integration, OBV can be parachuted into lending operations within hours.

Many lenders have expressed concern that the 3 month extension is delaying the inevitable for too many consumers, with the potential for a swathe of defaults landing later in the year, just as BAU returns, undermining a recovery in the finance industry and stunting improvements in the cash flow needed to grant new loans.

OBV provides a simple ‘Refresh’ option which repeatedly retrieves the latest real-time data over weeks and months if needed, to enable regular automated reassessment of income and the ability to proactively deal with serviceability issues before they compound the borrower’s problems.

With near 100% bank account coverage, you can count on OpenBankVision by LendingMetrics to help accurately process payment holiday requests by assessing affordability in real time, now when it is needed more than ever. Click here to find out more.