by Mark Johnston
Which?, the independent review company has published the results of its independent lender satisfaction survey. The survey looks at which mortgage lenders offer the best rates, service and communication.The company surveyed around 4,000 people to rank the best and worst in the UK mortgage market. Borrowers should take note of cost but should also think about the service that the company will provide and given the current climate, their strength and standing in the market.
When surveyed in June and July last year and again at the start of this year, First Direct came top being voted the best overall. This is nothing new for the HSBC owned company as it prides itself on its service proposition and has won many awards for it even though it is a telephone bank with no branches. Suprisingly its sister company HSBC was well behind scoring an overall 66%.
Whilst First Direct led the field with 89% for the second year running, the Co-operative bank came second with 78% demonstrating that it puts its customers first, the one account (77%) came thirst whilst Coventry Building Society (73%) and Britannia Building society (72%) came a very close forth and fifth place.
The larger lenders didn’t do as well other than Nationwide that did well and delievered good service but didn’t do as well in term of their interest rates when compared alongside the smaller players. The Bank of Scotland scored (41%), Halifax 44% whilst Northern Rock (45%) and Lloyds TSB (48%) all struggled at the bottom end of the table. Santander, the Spanish bank that bought out Abbey scored a poor 49% showing that they had a long way to go to top service tables.
Nearly 85% of the peoples surveyed said that they were satisfied with the customer service that their lender had provided them for their mortgage. The main reason they contacted their lender was to make an overpayment, which has become more common due to the low interest rates giving borrowers a little more disposable incomes each month.
Most borrowers were happy with the way that lenders communicated change to them especially interest rate changes that would affect their monthly payments.
A lot of borrower were unhappy about how they were kept up to date with new deals. This is something that mortgagerates.or.uk has been concerned about for sometime as many lenders rely on customer inertia to remain on more costly rates. Borrowers should always stay up to date with market news and new deals by visiting mortgagerates.org.uk on a regular basis. This said more providers are improving, two providers scored the highest for keeping their customer updated with new deals and rates, Brittannia Building Society and First Direct.
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