Dudley Building Society has opened the whole of its residential product range for self-employed applicants with only one year’s accounts.

The Dudley said it believes the will help to reduce the gulf which exists in the treatment of those who work for themselves and those with standard employment status.

Jeremy Wood (pictured), Dudley chief executive, said: “The Society believes that self-employment should not be a barrier to homeownership. Our move to open up our products to those who only have a year’s accounts is designed to remove some of the barriers to homeownership which self-employed applicants face.

“As a lender, we take our role as facilitator for would-be homeowners very seriously and it is up to us to respond positively to a world that is constantly changing. The world of work is no exception. It is estimated that there are over 4.5 million self-employed people in the UK, roughly 15% of the working population and those numbers are growing.

“At the same time, the world of employment, far from offering the same security to workers as it once did, is having to adapt to an economy where the cycles of upsizing and downsizing for firms are happening more frequently.

“So, although employment still retains the cachet of ‘security’ and lenders are happy with the way mortgages to the employed perform, there is no reason why we shouldn’t constantly re-evaluate the risks surrounding self-employment.”