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Building societies pledge support for armed services personnel

The Cambridge Building Society has pledged to implement a mortgage policy that allows Armed Forces personnel who are posted overseas to rent out their homes without facing higher mortgage interest rates or a requirement to change their mortgage.

This announcement follows an annual roundtable at No.10 Downing where Philip Dunne, Minister for Defence Procurement, challenged financial institutions to support Armed Forces personnel.

Those in the armed forces and their families make many sacrifices in serving their country and can face disadvantages in doing so. Personnel are often posted overseas for long periods of time at short notice, which can lead to penalties on their existing financial products such as mortgages.

This move led by the Building Societies Association, whose Head of Mortgage Policy, Paul Broadhead, attended the roundtable, means that members of Armed Forces who rent out their homes during deployment will be allowed to keep their existing mortgage and not have to change to a buy-to-let mortgage. This will save them both money and time.

Chief Executive of The Cambridge Stephen Mitcham said: "As a mutual provider being flexible is all part of our offering. We assess each case on an individual basis and those who serve in the Armed Forces are no exception. We’re pleased to allow service personnel to let their residential property while serving abroad without them having to switch from their residential mortgage. We’re proud to support  the Armed Forces across East Anglia in this way and  welcome the move towards making this policy more widespread within the sector."

The Prime Minister said: "The Armed Forces Covenant is something I feel incredibly strongly about – that’s why I haven’t just prioritised the Covenant, I have written it into law. But there is much more to do, so I welcome the commitments that have been made to improve the way our Armed Forces and their families access financial services."

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: "Looking after your home and your money can be more of a challenge when deployed on operations or serving abroad. This is a welcome first step to help our servicemen and women get a better mortgage deal.”

Sara Baade, Chief Executive of the Army Families Federation said: “What this recognises is that military families often have limited choice in where they are sent to live. They go overseas because the country needs them to. It will mean a lot to those that have bought their own homes to know that the challenges of service life are beginning to be understood by our building societies."