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