There were however some sectors and lenders who bucked the trends, according to Smart Money People’s latest mortgage lender benchmark.
The fifth bi-annual report found overall adviser satisfaction with lenders dropped by five percentage points to 77.8 per cent – the lowest figure since tracking began at the end of 2018.
Net Promoter Scores (NPS), which are a key measure of loyalty, ranged from +68.8 to -76.9, with the average across all lenders falling by 18 points to +12.8, from +30.8.
Speed to process an application remains the most commented upon theme in the report and it has the biggest impact on a broker’s likelihood to recommend a lender.
The rating for speed saw the biggest fall and is down from 75.8 per cent to 67.2 per cent.
As well as speed, online systems remain a key influence on NPS and feedback is very mixed across the market.
Communication has been recognised as vital during the pandemic and it seems this has suffered the second largest fall – down 5.3 per cent against H1 2020.
The report found that positive sentiment towards a lenders’ online systems led brokers to be more positive about other aspects of a lender’s process including ease of use and communication.
The lack of knowledge of staff, which may be symptomatic of more frequent product and policy changes in H2 2020, was also an issue for brokers.
Satisfaction with first-time buyer and home mover cases fell by 7.1 per cent and 6.8 per cent respectively, with speed and communication again being pain points.
And cases involving the self-employed also saw a notable downturn, with the rating for speed falling from 74.8 per cent to 65 per cent – highlighting the strain in that market.
Fed-up of Covid-19 excuse
There were also some more encouraging results.
A third of lenders improved their overall rating, indicating that some were able to build on their relationship with brokers during the pandemic, the report noted.
And specialist lenders outperformed the rest of the market by being able to maintain their satisfaction scores from the first half of 2020.
The report covers feedback from 494 brokers asked their opinions on the last five lenders they’ve attempted to place a case with recently and other providers they use, as well as thoughts on the mortgage market in general.
Jacqueline Dewey, CEO of Smart Money People, said the results showed brokers were becoming dissatisfied with lender performance in reaction to Covid-19.
“Many are fed up with the pandemic being used as an excuse for poor service or slow processes,” she said.
“Despite the difficulties faced in the market this year, some lenders have continued to outshine their competition. A third of all lenders in our report have seen an increase in their overall rating.
“We found lenders who performed well in comparison with H1 2020 were particularly strong around customer service. Lenders whose overall rating fell often did well around product range and rates, but very poorly for speed,” she added.