I think all of us in the property game should be very interested in the goings on with Skipton Building Society this week, even if we do not have a mortgage with them. Just what the heck are they playing at?
It seems that the brains trust at Skipton has dreamed up a new clause for their SVR (Standard Variable Rate) loan. One that pretty much lets them do what they like under ‘exceptional circumstances’. The result is that they have decided to invoke this clause (not sure on what grounds) and bump up their rates on existing loans.
I am sure they have got very good lawyers who have been through this with a fine tooth comb but I am still somewhat incredulous. You have to wonder exactly how clear this tricky clause was made to the customer before they signed on the dotted line and what examples were given to illustrate ‘exceptional circumstances’.
It seems to me they could be treading a very fine legal line. If, however, it is ruled to be all above board, and surely someone must test it, then that is a deep concern. If they set a precedent with this, we could all face rate hikes.
It is certainly something that needs looking at very closely.