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Lenders reinstate pre-Covid service commitment to brokers

Lenders reinstate pre-Covid service commitment to brokers

Virgin Money and More2Life have reinstated their pre-coronavirus service commitments to intermediaries as they prepare for a post-pandemic world.

From July 20, Virgin Money will guarantee a mortgage offer within 10 days of receiving a completed mortgage application. Otherwise, it will pay £100 to the mortgage applicant if the deadline is not met.

The service commitment will also apply to Clydesdale Bank registered intermediaries.

Meanwhile equity release lender More2Life has reintroduced its 14 working day service promise, whereby it will compensate customers with £500 if a loan offer from the application date is issued after 14 working days.

Virgin Money said it had briefly paused the commitment in order to focus resources on providing “crucial” services to customers during the pandemic.

Sarah Green, head of intermediary mortgages at Virgin Money, said: “The outbreak of the Covid pandemic caused issues which the mortgage market, as well as the wider financial market, had never previously experienced, leading to a temporary pause in the service commitment we offer to intermediaries.

“I am delighted to announce that as from Monday 20th July we are reinstating the service commitment, which is an important signal to intermediaries and mortgage customers that we’re back to full service with our reliable, prompt and high-quality proposition.”

David Hollingworth, associate director, communications at L&C Mortgages, commented: “It’s good to see Virgin Money and Clydesdale sending a clear message that they are back on track to provide the kind of service that intermediaries have come to expect. It also underlines the challenges that lenders have faced from a resource perspective in the same way as many businesses across the UK.

“Whilst product availability remains critical to the market especially at higher LTV the ability for lenders to provide consistent service as the economy emerges from the impact of the pandemic and the initial lockdown will be vital.”

More2Life's service promise was originally launched in February but was paused at the start of lockdown “due to the challenges facing the industry”.

Stuart Wilson, corporate marketing director at More2Life, said: “We know that advisers need to keep their clients appraised of how their application is progressing and part of this is setting realistic timelines. So having overcome some of the logistical challenges we faced due to lockdown, we are delighted to announce the return of our service promise.

“While lockdown is easing, we know that things have not returned to normal and we need to continue to focus on supporting advisers and helping them in their mission to deliver a great service and outcome to their clients. 

"We have worked through our applications backlog and continue to focus on how we improve our offering so that advisers find it as easy as possible to work with us.”

chloe.cheung@ft.com