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Service levels among some lenders dubbed ‘patchy’

Matt Cassar

The influx of new lenders into the specialist mortgage market is leading to “patchy” customer service levels, according to Finance Advice Group.

Matt Cassar, managing director of Finance Advice Group (pictured above), said the company now offered its customers the widest range of mortgages in its history, but claimed that with the high level of competition for business, some lenders were failing to get their backroom underwriting operation in place properly before launching their products.

This meant that some of the group’s customers have had to wait for weeks longer than they should for their applications to go through.

One customer was left waiting for nearly a year to secure his deal.

Matt claimed that customers were increasingly asking for a product with a less competitive interest rate than a rival deal if they feared the lower-priced mortgage would take longer to set up.

“There are a large number of lenders in the specialist market at the moment and we often get asked for our opinion on new products or asked why we are recommending one of their competitors over them to our clients,” said Matt.

“Our replies to both inquiries concern the customer service levels that they are able to provide, because these are vital in the specialist market, where applications are more complex and the paperwork takes more time than for regular borrowers.

“The majority of lenders are fine, but some are patchy, and we came across one lender recently who was way below the level we expected.

“Low rates are not the be all and end all, a lender’s ability to process applications to the satisfaction of our customers is, and not everyone can supply that to the standard that customers would be looking for.”

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