Bute MSP claims lenders are ‘snubbing squaddies’

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has accused High Street lenders of unreasonably refusing mortgages to members of the armed forces.

Mr Russell says serving squaddies are being penalised - not for having a poor credit rating, or lacking a deposit, but simply for changing addresses too many times, an unavoidable consequence of being a member of the armed forces.

Mr Russell cited the case of one soldier with 16 years of service in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who hit a stumbling block after deciding to move out of Army accommodation and buy a house.

“Despite a struggle to save the deposit and having an excellent credit rating, High Street lenders have refused him and his wife a mortgage because he has changed address too often over the past three years,” Mr Russell said.

“To compound matters once three mortgage applications have been refused an individuals credit rating is then downgraded. This is grossly unfair and is plainly wrong.

“Personnel should be credited as having continuity for all the time they are in service accommodation despite moving around. I am sure that the Army could provide a reference to confirm this.

“This particular soldier who has served in Northern Ireland as well as two tours each of Afghanistan and Iraq is being penalised just for being a good soldier

“It’s time High Street lenders got real and took into account people’s real circumstances and not hiding behind a computer which constantly says “no!”.