Mortgages 

Brokers' favourite lenders revealed

Brokers' favourite lenders revealed

Brokers have crowned Halifax as their favourite bank while Barclays and Metro have been named the worst performing lenders on service.

The Mortgage Lender Benchmark Assessment, published this week (June 5), surveyed brokers on the service and propositions offered by lenders in the first six months of this year and pinpointed which mortgage providers brokers were most likely to turn to on an everyday basis.

Smart Money People polled 424 brokers last month and found that Halifax was the most popular bank this year followed by BM Solutions, NatWest, HSBC and Santander in the top five.

Metro Bank remained the UK’s poorest rated bank while Barclays, which "offered great rates, but not much else", also rated badly.

Banks 
LenderOverall rating
Halifax93.5
BM Solutions92.6
Natwest90.7
HSBC90.5
Santander79.4
Bank of Ireland79.4
Virgin Money78.7
TSB78
Scottish Widows77.9
Atom Bank75.7
Clydesdale Bank75.2
Precise Mortgages73.8
KentReliance71.7
Aldermore70.9
Platform70.3
Paragon70
Barclays67.2
Metro Bank61.9

In general, building societies remained the highest rated lender-type overall — partly due to the fact their processing time was getting faster — while specialist lenders were less popular than last year and were "getting slower", according to brokers.

Coventry Building Society bagged the top spot for societies while Accord Mortgages and Principality Building Society were the second and third favourites.

Building Societies 
LenderOverall rating
Coventry92
Accord Mortgages90.6
Principality90
Nationwide87.8
The Mortgage Works86.2
Leeds82.9
Skipton82.9

Pepper Money came out as the UK’s top rated specialist lender, with its relationship managers performing particularly well, while More 2 Life was the most popular lifetime lender, beating L&G and LV.

Specialist 
LenderOverall rating
Pepper Money76
Bluestone72
The Mortgage Lender70.9
Kensington66.7
Vida Homeloans61.5

According to the survey, the performance of most lifetime lenders was improving and brokers were increasingly willing to recommend them.

Lifetime 
LenderOverall rating
more2life90.7
Legal & General89.1
LV=82
Canada Life78.6
Aviva78.5

Application to completion speed, online systems, and criteria received the most feedback from brokers for the past six months, with criteria leapfrogging to the second most commented upon theme.

Overall, the satisfaction of brokers sat at 81.6 per cent — slightly lower than in the latter half of 2018 — but satisfaction with relationship managers climbed above 80 per cent.

The survey also questioned whether broker size and membership to networks or clubs affected advisers' satisfaction levels.

According to the findings, intermediaries belonging to Paradigm Mortgage Services had the lowest satisfaction with the lender they dealt with, while Sesame members had the highest.

The research also found that brokers at larger firms are slightly more satisfied with the lenders they deal with. Brokers in firms with 19 or less advisers had an average lender satisfaction rating of 80.7 per cent compared to 82.3 per cent for brokers in firms with 20 or more advisers.

Michael Fotis, founder of Smart Money People, said: "While firms, including Halifax, HSBC and Coventry Building Society, received overall satisfaction scores above 90 per cent, poor communication and difficult application processes in particular made brokers less likely to recommend other lenders.

"This is against a background where in the first half of 2019, broker satisfaction with lenders has declined slightly."

Last week a study from Iress revealed lenders' digital functions still fell short of adviser expectations.

Commentary from intermediaries showed brokers wanted to see improvements in case tracking that provided more real-time updates and included progress with valuations and solicitors.