In its pilot phase, the service will be manned by 10 advisers during the hours of 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday with the objective of extending this to include Saturdays 8.00am to 8.00pm.
The web chat will initially be focused on brokers with the long-term objective of making the service available to consumers.
Around 50 to 60 individual brokers are involved in the test phase to give Skipton a picture of what intermediaries want from the service. Head of digital Alison Davies said the society wanted to ‘test and learn’ so that the live chat service could be used to answer any query.
Davies, formerly head of group digital sales at HSBC Retail Banking and Wealth Management, said: “Skipton Building Society continues to enhance its commitment to ‘real life’ lending and the support mechanisms we implement as part of our broker pledge. This now includes the evolution of a web chat capability initially through a pilot for brokers. This is another way in which brokers can engage with Skipton and in real time.”
Nationwide is currently rolling out its web chat service which it plans to make available to all its brokers by mid-December. The service is designed to help with any pre-lending enquiries.