Brokers suffer as Coventry hit by communications blackout

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Brokers suffer as Coventry hit by communications blackout
BySimon Allin

Mortgage brokers’ business flows have been hit after Coventry Building Society’s communications systems went down this morning.

The lender’s telephones and website have been down for several hours, meaning brokers have been unable to pre-populate online forms with key data and clients could face delays getting their offers through.

Coventry was the seventh-largest mortgage lender by gross volume in 2016, with £9bn-worth of lending and a 3.7 per cent market share, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (now UK Finance).

Jonathan Smith, IFA at Southampton-based Jonathan Smith and Partners, told FTAdviser he had been trying to use Coventry’s website all morning, to no avail.

“We have about six mortgages with them at the moment, so it is incredibly frustrating,” he said.

“It stops the flow of business. It is the last thing you need when lenders make you do all the work.

“You can’t pre-populate the extra bits and pieces they require, like copies of wage slips. It is a problem when people are screaming for mortgage offers.

“I have not come across a major institution where both their website and landlines have gone down before.”

He said he had managed to make contact with a business development manager who apologised and told him that internally all systems were down.

Another firm FTAdviser spoke to said its brokers went home early as they were unable to execute business they needed to with Coventry.

An automated telephone response states the lender is unable to take calls due to ‘technical difficulties’.

Coventry's latest set of results revealed profits before tax grew by 2 per cent to £112.4m in the six months ending in June.

Its savings balances rose by 11 per cent over the year, with balances increasing by £1.9bn in the first half of the year.