Reinsurance solution helps borrowers get mortgages with 5% deposit

Deposit Unlock

Deposit Unlock is an innovative mortgage guarantee scheme created to help borrowers secure a new-build home with a deposit of only 5%. Deposit Unlock is available on both houses and flats for both first-time buyers and existing homeowners.

It launched in June 2021 and Gallagher Re administers the scheme on behalf of participating developers.

Why is Deposit Unlock needed?

A group of 17 major property developers, who are members of the trade body Home Builders Federation (HBF), recognised the need for a private sector mortgage guarantee scheme to fill the gap left by the closure of the government’s Help-to-Buy scheme.

On behalf of the founding 17 builders seeking an alternative to Help-to-Buy, the HBF commissioned Gallagher Re to design, initiate and implement a solution.

How does the reinsurance-backed mortgage scheme work?

The solution proposed by Gallagher Re and backed by the HBF, utilises a protected cell captive to provide mortgage insurance to lenders.

This allows them to lend on new-build housing, at a 95% loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, with significantly reduced risk exposure.

There’s no cost involved for lenders in joining the Deposit Unlock scheme — no upfront payment, no charges and no ongoing management fees. In addition, the scheme is capital relief eligible.

Interested in joining Deposit Unlock?

House builders, lenders or brokers interested in joining the scheme can contact Gallagher Re or find more information on the Deposit Unlock website.

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Who does Deposit Unlock help?

The scheme is open to both first-time buyers and existing homeowners who wish to purchase a new-build property with only a 5% deposit, and a standard 95% mortgage. This high LTV offering is made possible due to the mortgage insurance offered to lenders through Deposit Unlock.

Deposit Unlock will substantially increase access to new-build home ownership, backed by reinsurance and supported by mortgage providers. It is a fantastic example of what can be achieved through private-sector collaboration between house builders, lenders and the (re)insurance industry.

The Deposit Unlock story

Deposit Unlock