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Analysis of Business Writing 3

25 Feb 2021

writingLet’s take a look at an extract from a letter from a bank to a customer who has requested a mortgage. In the letter, the bank rejects the customer's application but makes a counter-offer. It is willing to give the customer a loan but less than the amount requested. We focus on three areas of the text:


Original Text
:

(1) I would like to say thank you for your applying for the mortgage loan application. (2) After reviewing all of your income proof documents provided, I regret to inform you that your application was approved with counter offer from 70% of the valuation price to 55%. The approved loan is HK$850,000. (3) The reason for this counter offer since your income is not steady. Your income is mostly based on commission & you cannot provide latest 2 years Tax Demand Note to verify your income.


Feedback on
(1)


This sentence should be the first paragraph. A new paragraph should begin after it. It serves to acknowledge the customer's mortgage application.


When thanking someone for something, use a standard phrase. "I would like to say thank you for..." is not a standard phrase. It's best to say "Thank you for..."


When referring to a past communication, the date of the document received should be stated.


"applying for a mortgage loan application" is a wordy phrase. Replace this with "mortgage application."


Rewrite:

 

Thank you for your mortgage application of 4 September.


Feedback on (2)

Start a new paragraph here. The purpose of this paragraph is to politely reject the mortgage application, giving reasons. Details of the counter offer should be given in the next paragraph.


The writer first says "regret" and then "approved." This type of language is confusing. It's best to say that the customer's original application was rejected, and in the next paragraph state the counter offer.


GOOD: the writer has correctly used a standard phrase "I regret to inform you that...," a phrase commonly used to introduce bad news.


Don't use negative words like "rejected" or "rejection." Instead use the negative "not" with the positive opposite of the word, e.g. "not successful." Always try to soften bad news.


Introduce the counter offer with a standard phrase for giving positive news, e.g. We would be pleased to offer you...." There is no need to mention the phrase "counter offer" since it is clear what you are doing.


Show a link between this paragraph (good news) and the previous paragraph (bad news) by starting your sentence with "however," or "despite this."


Rewrite:

 

After reviewing your income from the documents you provided us, I regret to inform you that your mortgage application for 70% of the property valuation price was not successful.

Despite this, we would be pleased to offer you a mortgage of 55% of the valuation price. A mortgage of HK$850,000 has been approved.


Feedback on (3)


Start a new paragraph here. The purpose of this paragraph is to state specific reasons for making the counter offer.


Use a topic phrase to begin your sentence, e.g. We are making this counter offer because...."


Never use the symbol "&" in place of "and" in official business correspondence.


Write out numbers from 0 to 9. "2" becomes "two."


Rewrite:

 

We are making this counter offer because your income is not stable, based mainly on commission and you have not provided us with the latest two years Tax Demand Note to verify your income.

 

Revised Text

 

Thank you for your mortgage application of 4 September.


After reviewing your income from the documents you provided us, I regret to inform you that your mortgage application for 70% of the property valuation price was not successful.


Despite this, we would be pleased to offer you a mortgage of 55% of the valuation price. A mortgage of HK$850,000 has been approved.


We are making this counter offer because your income is not stable, based mainly on commission and you have not provided us with the latest two years Tax Demand Note to verify your income.

 

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