Lender review survey: communication is key for winners

Panel members

David Hollingworth, Associate Director of Communications, London & Country
Sarah Tucker, Managing Director, The Mortgage Mum
Matt Tilbury, Senior Mortgage and Protection Advisor, Just Mortgages
Greg Cunnington, Director of Lender Relations and New Homes, Alexander Hall
Mark Pattanshetti, Associate Director, Largemortgageloans.com
Aaron Strutt, Director of Products and Communications, Trinity Financial
Dale Jannels, Managing Director, Impact Specialist Finance
David Sheppard, Managing Director, Perception Finance
Jonathan Clark, Mortgage and Protection Advisor, Fairstone Wealth Management
Emily Smith, Mortgage Expert, Habito

The past 12 months have been a prosperous but demanding period for the industry.

In a year that has seen continued reliance on technology, effective communication has proven to be the go-to success or failure for many lenders, with service a bogeyman for brokers.

As demand and competition intensified, lenders’ proposals also intensified, leaving no room for complacency. As another year draws to a close, which lenders can claim a job well done?

Intermediaries Halifax

Once again, Halifax is clearly the broker favorite in our survey.

“It has great prices at a higher loan-to-value ratio [LTVs]”says Mark Pattanshetti, associate director of Largemortgageloans.com,” and a simple online system with very quick subscription. “

Trinity Financial Director of Products and Communications Aaron Strutt said: “Halifax has super-fast deals and clearly wants to attract bigger loans with the introduction of its 5.5 times senior salary option. income. “

Halifax has a simple online system with very quick subscription

Perception Finance chief executive David Sheppard hails the lender’s “common sense” underwriting for freelancers and entrepreneurs, but says the call wait times for its free law firms are too long. He would also like to see Halifax offer free evaluations for purchases.


This is a powerful gain of six places for HSBC in the table of lenders.

“There is a good alignment between retention and new customer product options. Overall, the service and products are excellent, ”notes Emily Smith, mortgage expert at Habito.

David Hollingworth, London & Country Associate Director of Communications, said: “HSBC is aggressive on pricing and has started changing the criteria. “

He praises his relaxed approach to variable income.

There is good alignment between retention and new customer product options at HSBC

Impact Specialist Finance Managing Director Dale Jannels adds, “This is really good for clients, whether it’s for higher income multiples or for debt consolidation. Good rates and a useful BDM too.

RBS (NatWest Intermediate Solutions)

Another substantial gain was made this time around, with RBS rising four places.

“It has competitive offers across the board and it’s good to see green options. NatWest covers some useful niches with great prices, ”says Smith.

Fairstone Wealth Management Mortgage and Protection Advisor Jonathan Clark observes: “NatWest has maintained its significantly improved service levels despite offering consistently competitive and affordable products. “

Good to see green options at NatWest

Matt Tilbury, Senior Mortgage and Protection Advisor at Just Mortgages, welcomes the lender’s support for self-employed people post-Covid, adding, “Great BDM support as well as reasonable underwriting.”

Sheppard says he enjoys working with NatWest, but feels his online case tracking – or rather the lack of it – is failing him.

Nationwide for intermediaries

Nationwide plunged one place this quarter.

Still, he’s “one of our favorite lenders,” says Sarah Tucker, Managing Director of The Mortgage Mum.

“The combination of strong criteria, incredible BDM support and consistency makes it a sure bet,” she adds.

Affordability has been tightened to a point where Nationwide hardly lends to entrepreneurs anymore

Alexander Hall Director of Lender Relations and New Housing Greg Cunnington observes, “Introducing Helping Hand products, improving the maximum borrowing rate and unlocking deposits all demonstrate commitment. strong towards first-time buyers. “

However, Sheppard believes Nationwide recently “punished” entrepreneurs for their affordability.

“I understand that this can be seen as a risky industry, but the affordability has been tightened to such an extent that it hardly lends itself to this type of applicant anymore,” he explains.

Yorkshire BS (Agreement)

This was a drop of three places for Accord in our poll.

“Accord’s prices aren’t always fantastic, but they’re competitive enough,” says Strutt. “We recently had some settled cases that were outside of the lending policy because its underwriters thought they made sense.”

Accord’s prices aren’t always great prices

Jannels calls the lender “easy to use and fast,” adding, “This has been very helpful for some product transfers this month. It has a great BDM that helps and a good live chat.

Clark observes: “Accord’s particularly flexible approach to underwriting helps set unusual cases; compensate for rather mediocre rates.

Coventry BS

It’s a two-place drop for Coventry this time around.

“He appears to be relaxing the requirements of his system with a few more cases accepted this month than before,” observes Jannels.

“There has been good support on product transfers, although it will be better online. Fast service and excellent BDM support, ”he adds.

Clark believes the lender offers “one of the most generous affordability calculations for the self-employed.”

Coventry is generally very good with an innovative fixed flex option

Tilbury calls Coventry an ‘underrated lender’ with many niches.

Smith, meanwhile, said of the lender: “It’s generally great with an innovative fixed flex option. “

However, she believes her policy changes for self-employed workers since the pandemic have let her down.

Santander for intermediaries

Santander dipped slightly in the ratings, losing one spot.

“Santander’s service has shone steadily and is now complemented by a competitive pricing package, backed by good BDM support,” Hollingworth said.

Factoring in 65% of additional revenue for affordability is a big plus point

Pattanshetti praises the lender’s ‘high pricing’ for interest-only loans over £ 1million, and its straightforward application process.

Cunnington says, “Lately he has been priced competitively with solid product options. Its support for factoring in 65% of additional revenue for affordability is a big plus point. “

TSB Bank

Unlike Santander, TSB has gained a place.

“It’s more focused on straightforward cases, but with quick turnaround times and good prices,” says Pattanshetti.

Cunnington said the lender recently priced competitively, adding, “There has been a noticeable increase in apps that are offered almost instantly. “

TSB is clearly invested in its teams, and the criteria are always clear

Strutt says TSB is “excellent” and has a good deal, but notes, “It changes their rates a lot. Fewer rate change notification emails would be nice.

Tucker adds, “BDM support has shone over the past six months. TSB is clearly invested in its teams, and the criteria are always clear.


That’s a jump of two places for Barclays.

“Pretty consistent performance,” Hollingworth observes. “Barclays have competitively priced 10-year fixed rates and the Great Escape line has a lot to offer for those looking for a good remortgage rate without the fees. “

We’re starting to hear good things about Barclays’ new, more broker-friendly system.

Tucker thinks the lender’s systems turn off brokers sometimes, but adds, “They have great products. We particularly like its Family Springboard.

Clark says, “We are starting to hear good things about Barclays’ new, more broker friendly system. “

Virgin money

Virgin fell one place at the bottom of the odds.

“Virgin’s service has been pretty poor lately,” Sheppard says. “The wait times for calls are among the worst we have seen and our BDM team are not very helpful.”

Virgin can be slow to take out and is one of the last to still charge for surveys

Smith describes the lender as “a bit uneven”.

She says, “I recently had delays in checking documents. Having said that, the BDM team are really supportive.

Tilbury believes Virgin’s aging system is holding him back.

“It can be slow to subscribe and it’s one of the last to still charge for surveys,” he says.

Wild card: Kensington Mortgages

It’s a solid performance from Joker Kensington.

“A great deal for customers who don’t meet Main Street criteria,” says Tucker.

“Kensington is comfortably seated in this space and is unique in its offering.”

Although the lender’s rates are higher, Pattanshetti applauds its willingness to look at more complex cases, adverse credit, and unusual property or income structures.

Kensington has a great deal for guests who don’t meet Mainstreet criteria

Jannels has seen an increase in demand for Kensington products.

“It’s great that it offers 95% LTV for those who have had a blip,” he says. “We can always speak to our BDM or our phone team to verify out-of-standard criteria, even for large loans. “

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