Research from online broker forum cherry has found that almost half (45%) of intermediaries are currently finding it difficult to place cases involving the self-employed.

This was followed by high loan-to-value (LTV) cases (34%), cases where the applicant was on furlough (12%) and cases where the applicant had taken a mortgage payment holiday (5%).

‘Other’ made up the final 4%, with respondents pointing to adverse and buy-to-let houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) as also being difficult cases.

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In a 2020 H1 review of activity across the forums, cherry maintained an average of over 100,000 page views each month, plus an average duration of 7.5 minutes per visitor.

The top five most visited forum categories were: difficult to place cases (over 47,000 visits); The Brokers Arms (over 33,000 visits); general questions and feedback (over 26,000 visits); lenders (over 22,000 visits); and technology (over 16,000 visits).

Donna Hopton, director at cherry, said: “It’s evident from these results that intermediaries are struggling with self-employed applications and servicing the needs of those higher LTV borrowers.

“Whilst these results are hardly surprising, it’s important that the intermediary community finds their voice and forms a collective approach to highlight problem areas.

“Raising the profile of those ‘difficult cases’ will better inform lenders of the challenges they face and enable them to generate the types of solutions which will allow intermediary partners to service a wider range of client needs moving forward.”