Mortgage lender satisfaction at lowest levels since pandemic

Mortgage lender satisfaction at lowest levels since pandemic

Broker satisfaction with mortgage lenders has dropped to the lowest level recorded outside of the pandemic.

Research released yesterday (December 7) by financial services review site Smart Money People, found that overall broker satisfaction with lenders has fallen bellow 80 per cent for the first time since 2020. 

The research, which included feedback from 751 mortgage brokers and 114 mortgage lenders, showed that overall satisfaction dropped by 1.9 per cent in the second half of this year to 79.3 per cent.

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Smart Money People chief executive Jacqueline Dewey said the findings illustrate how UK lenders are struggling to cope with the impact of interest rate rises and the turbulence caused by the “mini” Budget.

“Brokers are frustrated by the situation they find themselves and their clients in, with constant changes and products being withdrawn after applications have been submitted,” Dewey said.

She added: “Our analysis has found brokers are craving some stability within the market, and that brokers need support from lenders. They need to be able to rely on and have confidence in lenders, and whilst processes adapt, communication remains key.” 

A key element of the research is the ‘Net Promoter Score’ which reflects how likely brokers are to recommend a lender.

The average score for all lenders within the benchmark decreased by 5.8 to 21.1, the second-lowest score recorded in the history of the benchmark.

Scores ranged from minus 54.5 to 59.3 for the lenders in the report.

The peak net promoter score for all lenders was recorded at the start of 2020 at 30.8.

Top performers

Halifax came out on top as the number one bank chosen by lenders for service levels while the West Brom was named the top building society.

Foundation Home Loans was both the top buy-to-let lender and the number one specialist lender in the second half of this year, while Canada Life was named as the top lifetime lender.

Building societies were the top-rated sector for broker satisfaction for a ninth time.

Another key take-away from the report was that brokers are struggling to keep up to date with rapidly changing criteria and rates, with 43 per cent relying on emails to keep on top of changes.

The housing market has cooled somewhat in recent months, with a significant slow down of house price growth reported in November.

Meanwhile the latest figures from the Bank of England show mortgage approvals decreased by 15.1 per cent in October 2022 compared to last year.

Jane King, chartered adviser at Ash Ridge Financial Services told FTAdviser she expected service levels to improve with a drop off in purchases, but from what she has seen this has not happened.

“It's pretty rubbish still, hours waiting on the phone and the web chats are often worse than useless. With the drop off in purchases I would have expected lender admin to get better but with staff still working from home it is still a shambles in many cases,” King said.