Press releases

Complex case searches continue to dominate adviser sourcing activity in April

20 May 2021

Link to full press release

  • Legal & General’s SmartrCriteria tool found that searches for lenders willing to consider borrowers with unsatisfied defaults rose by 108% last month.
  • Though searches for mortgages suitable for applicants receiving furlough income fell by 40% between March and April, this remained in the top ten most-searched criteria.
  • Separately, SmartrCriteria also found that searches for mortgages suitable for borrowers looking to secure lending on a property requiring an EWS1 form, to prove it meets fire safety requirements, were not nearly as popular as searches for self-employed borrowers.

Mortgage advisers continued to complete thousands of searches last month for lenders willing to consider borrowers with complex financial circumstances, according to the latest findings from Legal & General Mortgage Club’s SmartrCriteria tool.

Notably, searches for mortgage providers for borrowers with unsatisfied defaults increased by 108% between March and April. Advisers also searched extensively for mortgage options for borrowers with satisfied defaults, which formed the third most frequently searched criteria point. Demand for furlough-friendly mortgage providers also remained high in April and appeared in the top ten most sought-after products for the fourth month in a row.


Advisers that use Legal & General Mortgage Club’s SmartrCriteria tool can also search for lenders who would be prepared to lend to borrowers looking to secure lending on a property with an EWS1 form. Many lenders are now requesting these forms for buyers of leasehold flats and similar residential dwellings to ensure they are protected from flammable materials and expensive remediation bills. In fact, there were nearly as many searches for EWS1 form criteria in April as for mortgages suitable for self-employed/sole-trader mortgages.

SmartrCriteria was launched by Legal & General in 2019 and has over 8,000 registered advisers. The service is free to use, regardless of whether an adviser is a Club member or not.

Clare Beardmore, Head of Mortgage Transformation and Operations, Legal & General Mortgage Club: "Overall, activity in the mortgage market continues to be high, with many people currently looking to buy and sell. However, over recent months it has become clear that the crisis has also led to an increase in the number of borrowers needing mortgages which cater for complex needs, such as missed payments and furlough income. Advisers and advice have arguably never been as important for many borrowers.

Processing more complex cases is often challenging because of the time burden associated with finding a mortgage which meets specialist needs. However, technology is here to help. A good research tool can make the process much more efficient by ensuring the right products are just a few clicks away. I would encourage any advice business which is not yet exploring the digital resources on offer to consider how it could help them to better manage the demand we see currently."

Further information

Fallback Thumbnail People

Max Chason


T: 0755 715 6891

Email Max Chason

Notes to editors

Established in 1836, Legal & General is one of the UK's leading financial services groups and a major global investor, with £1.2 trillion in total assets under management1 of which 40% is international. We have a unique and highly synergistic business model, which continues to drive strong returns. Legal & General provides powerful asset origination and management capabilities directly to clients, which also underpin our leading retirement and protection solutions. We are a leading international player in Pension Risk Transfer, in UK and US life insurance, and in UK workplace pensions and retirement income. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers and create value for our shareholders. Through inclusive capitalism, we are investing in long-term assets, such as real estate and infrastructure, that can help build a better society for the future.

1Data as at 31 December 2023.

Legal & General Insurance (LGI) has been offering life insurance cover since 1836 and is the UK’s number one individual life insurance provider. Our group protection business in the UK offers life insurance and income protection products to individuals through their employers and we offer term-life insurance in the US. We now have over 5.5 million UK life insurance customers, 1.8 million people in group protection schemes and approaching 1.3 million US term-life insurance policyholders. Here in LGI, we protect our customers and their loved ones throughout life and death.

*at 31 Jun 2021