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Brokers name their favourite lenders amid Covid

Brokers name their favourite lenders amid Covid

Brokers’ satisfaction with mortgage lenders has reached the “highest levels seen” despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to a survey from Smart Money People.

Brokers’ overall satisfaction with lenders increased to 82.7 per cent in the first six months of 2020, from 81.1 per cent in H2 2019.

It was the highest figure since the survey began in December 2018, when overall satisfaction was at 82 per cent.

Satisfaction with product transfers has also increased to 86.2 per cent, from 83.2 per cent in H2 2019.

Banks and specialist lenders saw the highest increase in overall satisfaction, although building societies remained the highest-rated sector.

Halifax kept the top spot as the highest-rated banking lender in the Mortgage Lender Benchmark survey.

Ease of application and speed were identified as the lender’s strengths, as one broker described a case that was “received and offered within 24 hours”.

Meanwhile, building societies were identified as four out of five of the highest-rated buy-to-let lenders in the survey. Godiva Mortgages, the buy-to-let brand of Coventry Building Society, took the top spot.

Lifetime lender More 2 Life remained the highest-rated provider in the lifetime mortgages space, followed by LV and Pure Retirement.

However, brokers reported finding it more difficult to determine the maximum loan amount and product eligibility across lifetime lenders. The ease of determining product eligibility for lifetime lenders dropped to 77.7 per cent, from 82.5 per cent in H2 2019.

The survey spanned the first six months of the year and covered the coronavirus lockdown that impacted the housing market particularly strongly.

Michael Fotis, managing director of Smart Money People, said: “Overall brokers are more satisfied with the performance of relationship managers, customer service and the speed offered by lenders in particular.

“And while broker satisfaction with mortgage lenders has jumped to the highest levels seen since our tracking commenced in December 2018, Covid-19 had an impact on a number of themes.

“Brokers talked more negatively about product range, communication and the clarity of criteria in this edition.”

Mortgage Lender Benchmark: top-rated firms

Category

Lender

Best bank

Halifax Intermediaries

Best building society lender

Godiva Mortgages

Best buy-to-let lender

Godiva Mortgages

Best adverse credit lender

Bluestone Mortgages

Best lifetime mortgage provider

More 2 Life

Great for lending criteria

Accord Mortgages, Barclays

Great for underwriting

Halifax Intermediaries, Accord Mortgages

Great for online systems

TSB, The Mortgage Works

Great for speed to offer

Halifax Intermediaries, More 2 Life

Great for communication

More 2 Life, Godiva Mortgages

Great for relationship management

More 2 Life, LV

chloe.cheung@ft.com