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Halifax, NatWest and Accord scale back BDM meetings due to coronavirus concerns

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  • 13/03/2020
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Halifax, NatWest and Accord scale back BDM meetings due to coronavirus concerns
NatWest, Halifax and Accord have taken precautions and suspended broker meetings and events as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow.

 

Halifax and Accord confirmed business development managers (BDMs) will not be making in-person meetings for the time being. 

Halifax asked brokers to keep up to date with case tracking through emails and to only make contact “where absolutely necessary”. 

A statement sent to brokers by Halifax this afternoon said:

“We have today taken the decision to temporarily suspend all intermediary visits and meetings by our BDM (business development manager) team.

“Our priority, along with the safety of our colleagues and partners, is to ensure that our processing teams can continue to focus on providing you with the best possible service.”

 The lender added that advisers should get in touch with the Halifax Premier team for cases £500,000 and above as usual.

Lloyds Banking Group noted that the timeframe was difficult to judge but it’s policy would likely be in place for a while, although it would be reviewed frequently.

Mike Jones, managing director of intermediaries and specialist brands said: “From Monday 16 March our business development managers (BDMs) will be meeting brokers over-the-phone instead of face-to-face.

“By avoiding time travelling, BDMs will have more time to provide support to brokers via telephone.

“This will enable us to focus on supporting our intermediary partners and to continue conducting our business in the safest way possible.”

 

NatWest 

NatWest BDMs are also not attending any events with more than 20 people.

A spokesperson for NatWest told Mortgage Solutions that the lender was restricting all travel except that which is critical to business. It also said it would limit the scheduling and attendance of events for colleagues. 

The lender said it was “actively managing” the evolving impact of the coronavirus. 

 

Accord 

Accord said its field-based BDMs will not be visiting broker offices and pre-arranged meetings will be rescheduled to take place over the telephone or digitally where possible.  

However, its underwriters, service delivery colleagues, telephone BDMs and business development advisers will be working and available as normal. 

Accord also confirmed its team will not be attending any industry events, roadshows or conferences until further notice.  

 

Yesterday Keystone Property Finance and Vida Homeloans announced their plans for minimising disruption and potential exposure to the virus.

Following an emergency Cobra meeting on 12 March, prime minister Boris Johnson advised those who were showing symptoms of the virus to self-isolate for seven days. The government is considering the suspension of major public events. 

 

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