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Atom bank, the UK’s first app-based bank, has revamped its serviceability criteria for both variable and fixed rate commercial mortgage products as it looks to improve access to finance and challenge the high street lenders.

The changes will see the serviceability criteria for its lending range simplified, including a headline reduction in minimum debt serviceability to 120% for owner occupied applications and 125% for commercial investment applications.

The serviceability policy for commercial lending is in place to ensure businesses can maintain payments during periods of stressed earnings or cash flow and under a stressed interest rate.

During a particularly volatile time for businesses, Atom is committed to making changes to increase the number of small businesses it is able to help in the current economic environment. It also means Atom will be able to lend more to individual businesses, assisting them with their growth plans.

Atom has reduced the serviceability threshold for the majority of businesses; as part of the application process serviceability will continue to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and the actual threshold will depend on the quality and strength of the business.

Tom Renwick, Head of Business Banking at Atom bank commented: “Our serviceability criteria is in place to ensure loans can be repaid during difficult times. While we are currently living through a particularly turbulent period, we felt the time was right to make significant changes to the policy to allow us to offer our award-winning commercial mortgages to more SMEs around the UK.

“We are constantly looking at how we can best offer straightforward, transparent and competitive products to our business customers. We expect that this change will allow more SMEs access to much needed finance, helping them to plan for the future and continue to thrive post-pandemic.”

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