Following the lender’s decision to cap residential Loan to Income multiples at 4.5 for loans of over 80% Loan to Value last week, several brokers expressed frustration in the comment box about the lender’s mortgage processing.
Brokers suggested better staff training is needed and urged the lender to bring the call-centre, which has been in India for over ten years, back to the UK.
Cardiff-based Dean Bainbridge, a mortgage adviser and director at DKB Mortgages, said he continues to use Woolwich, mortgages from Barclays as a large loans and buy-to-let lender but added: “I’ve had an offer letter delayed three weeks because the valuer did not tick the NHBC box, forcing exchange without an offer letter, underwriters who do not know what Council Tax is, who can’t read a credit report, who don’t know what an incremental pay increase is, who repeatedly ask for the same documents. It’s a shambles. They [the staff] need to be trained and supported far better.”
He added: “It’s a shame as Woolwich has some good products and used to be reliable. Having underwriting done overseas has resulted in a tick-box mentality, basic knowledge is not what it needs to be and customers are suffering as a result.”
Another broker keen to remain anonymous said: “Woolwich [has] the potential to be a great lender and I have a supportive Business Development Manager, but the mortgage centre in Mumbai is leaving most advisers in a state of despair.”
A Barclays spokesperson said: “We very much want to make life easier for our mortgage brokers, and we would hope that any broker that is unhappy with any part of the service they received would reach out to us.
“We constantly listen to the feedback from the intermediary market and are working hard to develop a broker-centric approach which sees them served and supported as customers of ours as well as partners.”
The spokesperson added: “Please do pass on their details and we will be happy to assist these brokers on the cases they have highlighted.”
Yesterday, Barclays announced ‘scan and attach’ improvements to its online mortgage submission system, allowing brokers to take photographs of customer paperwork by Smartphone and tablet to be uploaded into customer case folders.