Halifax washed its hands of hitting first-timer with HLC

I would like to bring to the attention of all mortgage brokers an unfair experience I recently had with Halifax.

I sourced a 95% LTV deal on Trigold and filtered out the higher lending charges to obtain the most competitive deal for my client, a young first-time buyer.

Halifax came out on top, a Key Facts Illustration was produced and my cli-ent decided to opt for this deal. Some three weeks later the mortgage offer was produced. But on checking the de-tails I noticed that a HLC of 999 had been levied.

Halifax explained that although the product details for this particular deal had been submitted by it to Trigold in February, it had not been entered correctly into its system until the first week of March. Therefore, any KFIs produced within that period were incorrect.

After hours of being sent around the houses by Halifax, I managed to make contact with a complaints manager in the Manchester branch.

He explained that brokers should not rely on KFIs produced by Trigold, but should in all cases phone lenders’ customer services departments to check every detail of the KFIs before recommending deals.

What he failed to mention is that there’s no infrastructure in place for lenders to deal with the volume of phone calls they’d receive if brokers did this. It simply wouldn’t work.

He did not agree with my proposition that it would be far more appropriate for whoever submits changes to Trigold to check the details are entered correctly the following day. It would save a lot of phone calls. Don’t we brokers spend long enough listening to muzak as it is?

I then brought the matter to the att-ention of the customer relations manager at the Leeds branch who, unsurprisingly, agreed with his Manchester colleague.

He explained that it was unfortunate for my client to have to face the consequences of the HLC but this was not Halifax’s fault.

But I disagree. If the lender is responsible for submitting changes to Trigold, then surely it is also responsible for checking its work and should not rely on brokers to do so on its behalf.

Although I still strongly disagree with the customer relations managers at Halifax’s Leeds and Manchester offices, they believe they have ex-plained themselves thoroughly.

They are content that Halifax is not responsible for the error and will un-der no circumstances reimburse my client.

Frustratingly, they are also unwilling to discuss the matter further and insist that if I am still unsatisfied I should take the matter up with my business development manager.

Rob Stead
Gateway Independent Financial
By email