Clydesdale Bank has apologised to mortgage brokers who have complained about the bank’s “awful” service over the past month.
A number of brokers have vented their frustration, complaining that Clydesdale is taking up to 50 minutes to answer calls and that house purchases have fallen through due to delayed applications.
A spokesman for the bank said it was aware of “some call handling issues” and was “working hard” to resolve them.
Problems first came to light at the end of November.
South Coast Mortgage Services director Gareth Davies complained that the service had been “awful” in recent months. He said he has lodged a formal complaint with the bank.
Davies says: “We have had problems with a number of cases recently. The main issue is just getting to speak to someone.
“We are phoning on a daily basis and each time are on hold, in some cases for up to 50 minutes. On a number of occasions we have then simply been cut off.”
Clydesdale Bank’s press spokesman said: “We have experienced some call handling issues and would like to apologise to any brokers who may have been impacted.
“Improvements have been made and we are continuing to work through the issue in order to resolve it as quickly as possible.”
The bank said that some of these problems were caused by a change to the bank’s operating model.
Coreco director Andrew Montlake says: “Clydesdale seems to be experiencing some serious customer service issues at present. It’s not just a problem getting through to them, there have been delays on mortgage offers too.”
Montlake adds: “We were hoping the bank would sort out these problems over the holidays. But it this doesn’t seem to have happened. It is a shame, they are a very good lender and needed in the market.
“As a broker these problems are frustrating, but every lender goes through these issues at some time. All we can do is try to support the lender and direct cases elsewhere until the issue is resolved.”
The complaints have been echoed by a number of other brokers online.
In recent months Clydesdale Bank has been “particularly competitive” in the way it assesses income multiples on higher LTV loans. According to Davies the bank was offering up to five times income multiples on LTVs of 85 per cent and over.
Davies says: “I am not sure whether this has led to increased business volumes which has had a knock-on effect on broker service standards.”
However more recently Clydesdale has tightened its lending criteria, and made changes to limit income multiples available for high LTV applications.
It said that this change was made following a review of credit policy. The bank says it emailed this to brokers before these changes being made.
Davies also complained about problems uploading documents into the bank’s system.
However, the Clydesdale spokeswoman denied that there were any problems with the bank’s systems for uploading mortgage documents.