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Internet Insite

Mortgage Strategy’s weekly guide to what’s hot and what’s not on the web.

Leeds gets the gold star this week. Aside from the registration process – for which someone needs a slap – it’s a good site. At the other end of the scale is the absurdly named Leek United, which is incredibly tedious and looks like a 10 year old had a whale of a time designing the graphics. There are mixed messages from Lloyds TSB, which channels its intermediary business through C&G – previously visited in this column – and so from an intermediary perspective the site is irrelevant unless you live in Scotland, then you can use it. And the functionality on the mortgage side is driven by C&G. Confused? You won’t be the only one if you visit this site.

Recently renamed Leeds Building Society (from Leeds & Holbeck), is an example of a regional society that has built a national reputation. The website is clear and simple but one small annoyance was that it took me a while to find the intermediary website as there was no link from the main site. The website allows you to peruse all the latest rates and underwriting criteria as well as providing Key Facts Illustrations and applications online. It is frustrating that, for all the functionality, it makes you print a registration form and send it to the society before you can use the full functionality. This is a problem most other lenders with a similarly complex site have overcome and is the one thing that lets this website down.

Leek United
This is one of the most boring sites I have ever visited. Aside from the silly name there is no functionality at all. There isn’t even a link to the homepage so it’s impossible to navigate back there. There is absolutely no mention of intermediaries and the information provided for customers regarding all the mortgage options is confusing and leads nowhere. Quite frankly I’d be amazed if Leek gets any business as a result of this website, as not only does it have no direction for customers but the disorganised way in which it is laid out does not encourage visitors to hang around. The graphics are painfully simple and the whole thing has the level of sophistication of a school project.

Lloyds TSB
This site is absolutely useless for intermediaries but as you’d expect from one of the big four banks it’s pretty comprehensive and firmly aimed at customers. Customers can quote and apply online and rates are competitive. There are no obvious links for intermediaries as intermediary business is channelled through the C&G brand, which I have covered before. If you’re based in Scotland, Lloyds TSB will deal with you. It will lend in England and the site will enable you to obtain a KFI, albeit using C&G functionality. I have previously said it all about this group with my C&G review – which was favourable – but can find nothing good to say from a broker perspective about this site, or the disparate lending policy across the UK.33,614 registered users can’t be wrong


BM Solutions adds to mainstream and self-cert ranges

BM Solutions has today added a clutch of mainstream and self-cert products to its current ranges. The new products provide brokers with more options for their clients.Products available from BM Solutions mainstream range now include a two-year 3.89% fixed rate and a 3.75% two-year tracker, both available at 90% LTV. Additions to the self-certification range […]

Equity partners

The Exchange has entered into a strategy partnership with Just Retirement, the annuity and equity release specialist.

Lenders are adopting illogical criteria for retirement deals

From Helen Pierson I am a mortgage broker and would like to highlight the illogical criteria lenders adopt in respect of lending into retirement. I know this area looks as though it might become a hot potato for the FSA but ridiculous, unworkable criteria won’t help. At the 11th hour Halifax asked for evidence of […]

Pru accused of non-compliance

Prudential has been accused of bypassing IFAs and ignoring compliance procedures in a recent mailout. Dave King, director of ASK Financial Management, contacted Mortgage Strategy after a colleague received an endowment warning letter from The Pru inviting him to remortgage with Halifax. A leaflet accompanying the letter outlines a remortgaging arrangement between The Pru and […]


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