Brokers have responded to a survey which singled out Woolwich’s failings on service levels ‘ citing their experiences of poor service from the lender.
The survey, conducted by Mortgageforce among 79 of its branches and a further 250 brokers, accused Woolwich of serious service shortcomings.
The findings, which were reported in Mortgage Solutions on 3 June, prompted readers to come forward in support of the results and express their own criticisms of the service the lender provides.
Harry Katz, an IFA at Norwest Consultants, said: ‘I have had direct experience of Woolwich’s horrendous lack of service, ineptitude, off-hand manner, and I might also say, crass stupidity. I categorically refuse to do business with them anymore.’
Another reader, Pat Devine, a mortgage specialist at MDS Financial Services, told Mortgage Solutions a credit score and agreement in principle promised by Woolwich within four working hours had still not been received over a month after it was requested.
She said: ‘I wrote a letter to the manager of the Mortgage Centre and my business development contact, at this time I await a reply from both. No one disputes Woolwich offers one of the best flexible/offset products on the market, and while I always offer an illustration to my client I explain to them the problems in getting their mortgage through the system and nine times out of 10 another lender is used.’
Stuart Wilson, managing director of mortgage referral service, Mortgage.Com.Limited, said there was strong feeling among the IFA community that Woolwich needed to improve its service levels.
‘I travel around the country and speak to many IFAs and the name that always comes up as providing awful service is Woolwich. Not only has service been awful, but its ability to deal with mistakes seems non-existent.’
Perry Jones, spokesperson for Woolwich, blamed high business volumes for the poor service levels currently being experienced.
‘Industry-wide there have been record mortgage volumes, with lending levels exceptionally high. Our mortgage products have been increasingly popular and we have seen increased demand from both the direct and broker sectors. We realise we need to address the current problem with service and we will continue to work at improving services so that we can satisfy business levels from both brokers and direct customers.’