In backing Help to Buy, the bank also has to ensure it continues to manage lending in a responsible way - both for the customer, and in managing the bank’s risk.

Lloyd Cochrane, Head of Mortgages at RBS and NatWest, says “We know customers can be concerned about affording their mortgage and knowing that they are going to be able to pay it off so there are two things that we do with our advisors.

"Firstly there's a really short 5-10 minute conversation where we'll go through a customer’s income, and some of their expenditure as well as the likely size of the repayments,” he says. “Assuming that's a helpful conversation, the customer will have a more in-depth conversation about the range of mortgages and how much they will cost."

The type of questions we have to be sure of include making sure our customers' needs match the criteria of the scheme. That includes making sure it’s the right kind of property. It has to be a residential property, in the UK, no more than £600,000, and the mortgage has to be on a repayment basis, rather than interest-only.

“The end of that process is reassurance from the customer’s point of view that they have a mortgage they can afford each month, and they have a mortgage which they can safely and easily repay over their life.”

Retrained mortgage advisers

All RBS and NatWest mortgage advisers have been retrained during the last nine months. They have all the necessary professional qualifications and will talk to customers about mortgages in straightforward, easy-to-understand language.

"We like to think that when you sit with one of our mortgage advisers, we can make it easy for you to understand the mortgage and easy for you to understand the choices you've got to make." said Lloyd.

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