Q: How important is a lender’s service standards?

In today’s market, Mr Fordham said, lenders needing to distinguish themselves on more than just products.

Good service can make the difference between an intermediary successfully and quickly placing a case for their client or not, Mr Fordham said, and it is also important in the period pre and post-completion.

From the perspective of a lender, Mr Fordham said business development managers play a very important role in offering good service by providing support to intermediaries in line with the needs of their business.

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As well as providing education and information on lending policies and procedures, Mr Fordham said BDMs can help intermediaries navigate lender systems more efficiently, and also add value by taking ownership and escalating problems where necessary.

Mr Fordham said: “We have seen a real move this year towards greater transparency around service levels in the industry.

“This is good news for intermediaries as it ensures they have all the information they need when trying to find the right mortgage for that particular client’s needs.”

Whether service standards should impact the choice of lender will depend on the circumstances of each customer, according to Stephen Smith, director of housing at Legal & General.

More consideration should be given if an urgent offer is needed - on a new build purchase for example, or where there is a contract race.

But Mr Smith said lender’s service generally has improved over recent years, as volumes of lending have reduced, and it should be only rarely that lenders struggle with volumes.