Financial Adviser Service Awards 

Mortgages: 5-star providers

Mortgages: 5-star providers

A rundown of our the five-star winners and their key activities and upcoming plans behind their success.

Natwest Intermediary Solutions

Key activities

  • Technology – Launched a new online A-Z of the provider’s lending criteria and a new option for brokers’ customers to be emailed their offers direct so they get them quicker.
  • Process – Now instructs valuations on day one to speed up the process and provide a refund if the application is declined due to underwriting or credit scoring.
  • Reliable processing – More explicit about packaging requirements and online ‘real-time’ mortgage application tracker means Natwest can check on progress of all applications in just a few seconds.
  • Broad range of products – From New Build purchasers, Help to Buy and high LTV mortgages, through to landlords looking for buy-to-let mortgages.
  • Greater accessibility to team of business development managers via phone or web.

Upcoming plans

  • Continued investment in BDMs.
  • Continued broker support.
  • Looking for new ways to improve offering.
  • Buy-to-let – Introducing further enhancements on buy-to-let proposition.
  • Retention – Launching a retention process enabling brokers to recommend another NatWest mortgage deal to their customers that comes with a 0.2 per cent procuration fee.

Graham Felstead head of Intermediary Mortgages NatWest Intermediary Solutions, said: “We have had another record-breaking year where we have increased the number of mortgages we have written and have maintained our service levels throughout that time.”

 

 

RBS Intermediary Partners

Key activities 

  • Technology – New option for brokers’ customers to be emailed their offers direct.
  • Process – Instructs valuations on day one to speed up the whole process.
  • Reliable processing – More explicit about packaging requirements  and online ‘real-time’ mortgage application tracker means they can check on progress of all applications in just a few seconds
  • Broad range of products – for New Build purchasers, to Help to Buy and high LTV mortgages, through to landlords looking for buy-to-let mortgages.
  • Greater accessibility to team of business development managers via phone or web.  

 

Upcoming plans

  • Continued investment in BDMs.
  • Continued broker support.
  • Looking for new ways to improve offering.
  • Buy-to-let – Introducing further enhancements to the buy-to-let proposition.
  • Retention – Launching a retention process enabling brokers to recommend another RBS mortgage deal to their customers that comes with a 0.2 per cent procuration fee.

Alasdair McDonald, head of RBS Intermediary Partners, said: “We will be introducing further enhancements to our buy-to-let proposition and launching retention fees. We have built up a team of experienced, dynamic and motivated people who are committed to driving forward our intermediary business and we will look to strengthen our relationships even further with the broker firms we work with.”

 

Virgin Money

Key activities

  1. Introduced a product transfer service so intermediary partners can refer existing customers back to Virgin Money if appropriate and receive procuration fee.
  2. Transformed underwriting process to underwrite cases upfront – with aim to give decision in 24 hours.
  3. Improved case tracking.
  4. Expanded proposition with launch of Custom Build and Shared Ownership products.
  5. Improved affordability policy for applicants borrowing into retirement.

Upcoming activities

  1. Maintain ongoing focus on developing and improving mortgage proposition and service to intermediaries.  
  2. Continued measurement and feedback.
  3. Intermediaries rating of Virgin Money service published on website.
  4. Feedback into ongoing activities.

Peter Rogerson, director of mortgages at Virgin Money, said: “One of our key priorities for 2017 has been to continue to deliver outstanding levels of service to our network of professional mortgage intermediary partners. I am delighted that we continue to raise the bar on service, with our independent market insight showing that we have a market-beating Net Promoter Score from our intermediary partners.”

 

 

BM Solutions

Key activities

  • Setting out approach to buy-to-let portfolio lending ahead of new underwriting standards.
  • Holding workshops for several thousand brokers to help them understand portfolio landlord changes.
  • Introducing rental income calculator.
  • Responding to broker feedback by introducing free standard valuation and legal products.
  • Maintaining position in Financial Adviser’s Five Star Service Awards.

Upcoming plans

  • Planned improvements to document upload system.
  • Proposing use of webchat to further enhance the broker experience.
  • Quarterly broker feedback programme.
  • Greater access to field and telephone-based BDMs.
  • Focus on specialist underwriting process for portfolio underwriting.

Phil Rickards, head of BM Solutions, said:

“In an incredibly challenging period for the BTL market, I am extremely proud of the way BM Solutions has continued to support the intermediary market with a dedicated business development team and trusted service proposition, backed up with an excellent product offering.”

 

Halifax Intermediaries

Key activities 

  1. Updated self-employed lending policy – two-year income information required, rather than previous three.
  2. Launched online product transfers.
  3. Continued full procuration fees payments for product transfers.
  4. Introduced an appeals process for remortgage valuations.
  5. Continued support for affordable housing sector with shared equity and shared ownership clients’ products.

Upcoming plans

  1. Continued interaction with advisers on improving business.
  2. New 95 per cent product range for Help To Buy2 that will continue in 2018.
  3. Continued help to first-time buyers – group committed to lending £10bn to help people buy their first home.
  4. Expert-to-expert service. Partners in customer service team are CeMaP qualified with industry experience.
  5. Continued support from knowledgeable BDM team.

Ian Wilson, head of Halifax Intermediaries, said:

“Our proposition has its foundation in the desire to make it easier for intermediaries to provide exemplary service for their customers, and this will continue to be our key focus.

“During what is our twelfth year of delivering product transfers to the intermediary market, we have launched an enhanced online system and retained our procuration fee stance. 2017 has been an excellent year for Halifax Intermediaries and we look forward to supporting this key market once again in 2018.”

 

TSB

Key activities

  1. Access to decision makers.  Brokers have direct access to underwriters to discuss application.
  2. Call-back promise. TSB Intermediary promises all calls to relationship managers will be returned within three hours.
  3. Speed of service. In 2017, 240,000 calls taken by TSB Intermediary were answered within 40 seconds.
  4. Expert-to-expert service. Partners in customer service team are CeMaP qualified with industry experience.
  5. No sales targets. Focus is solely on delivering great service to brokers and customers.

Upcoming plans

  1. Continue to deliver quality service.
  2. Launching TSB Mortgage Pro, a sales system to allow TSB to provide better and faster service to brokers and customers.

Roland McCormack, TSB’s mortgage distribution director, said: “Thank you to all the brokers who voted for us. When we launched TSB Intermediary in January 2015, we set out to ‘shake up the market’ and, nearly three years on, I think it’s clear that we’re doing exactly that. We’re going from strength-to-strength and I’m focused on making sure we continue to deliver great service.

“Finally, I want to thank all the partners at TSB Intermediary for their hard work and dedication; none of this would have been possible without them.”

 

Skipton Intermediaries

Key activities

  1. Day one valuations. Company has knocked around five days off application-to-offer turnaround times.
  2. Average telephone response times to broker queries less than 20 seconds.
  3. Continually high feedback scores from brokers attending roundtable and roadshow events.
  4. Rolled out web chat facility, which is now available on website and through the eMortgages system.
  5. New online product transfer service and retention procuration fees rolled out to whole of market following pilot.

Upcoming plans

  1. Continued interaction with advisers to get feedback.
  2. Maintaining and reaching out further to offer personal face-to-face broker service from highly skilled and knowledgeable Intermediary Relationship Managers (IRMs);
  3. Enabling broker partners to have direct access to underwriters;
  4. Increasing digital facilities, including introduction of e-signatures for all brokers.
  5. Prioritising delivery of short and trouble-free borrower journey.

Paul Darwin, Skipton’s director of intermediary relationships, said: “As a mutual lender we pride ourselves on offering exceptional levels of service. People don’t want a mortgage, they want a home. And they want the best value, the least hassle, and the quickest service. It means so much to us that everyone at Skipton is working so well together to make that happen.”