Service Awards 2016: Mortgage category
1. NatWest Intermediary Solutions
NatWest has rallied from its four-star rating last year to take top position in the mortgage providers sector in the five star service awards category.
Graham Felstead, head of NatWest Intermediary Solutions, said intermediaries hold the firm to high esteem because of the reliability and the robustness of their processing times – even during busy periods.
He added: “The last 12 months has seen us deliver a number of new initiatives that have enhanced both the broker and customer experiences.
“Application packaging is one of the most important aspects of processing and we have improved our offering in this area as brokers are now able to email all the supporting documentation to us. And they can now get 'real-time' updates in seconds on each individual case using our online Mortgage Application Tracker tool."
The past year has also seen the introduction of the day one valuation instructions for all loans up to £500,000 and the launch of a concierge service for loans over 500,000 - where a dedicated case handler manages an individual application from initial submission right the way through to completion.
NatWest has also unveiled a new website as well as further developing its broker support services.
Mr Felstead said: "Making it as easy for intermediaries to do business with us is close to our hearts so we are delighted that, for so many brokers, our affordability calculator is the 'go to' one in the industry.
"We will continue to make service our number one priority in 2017, and have a number of plans for the coming months."
Five is the magic number for Halifax - this being its fifth consecutive year in the five-star awards category.
Ian Wilson, head of Halifax Intermediaries, said that lender has received plaudits from advisers because of the implementation of a number of initiatives such as the 1 per cent cashback campaign to help first time buyers get onto the property ladder.
He added that other notable developments, including the hike in maximum mortgage lending age to 80 and the launch of a revamped search functionality on the criteria section of the Halifax Intermediaries website, have been commended by intermediaries.
Mr Wilson said: “We aim to continue developing a knowledgeable operations team that consistently provides excellent service to brokers, through various channels, including first-time buyers, new build, main mortgage applications, product transfers and further advances.
“We will continue to improve our service proposition to brokers through consistently responding to broker feedback.
“Making the application process as streamlined as possible has remained a key focus in 2016, and again this will be a priority for 2017.”
3. Pink Home Loans
The addition of two industry heavyweights to Pink Home Loans’ protection and mortgage panels has boded well for the firm, its sales operations director said.