Woolwich pulls out stops to boost its standards

The Woolwich has changed its lending policy in a further attempt to improve service standards.

The lender has relaxed requirements for documentary support on all cases above 70% LTV. New applications must be supported by three months&#39 bank statements and a payslip.

The Woolwich has also ruled out requirements for references on second properties purchased for buy-to-let, provided intermediaries supply proof of mortgage payments.

The changes are effective from today (November 11).

Perry Jones, spokesman for The Woolwich, says: “The changes are made to simplify the process – to make it easier for intermediaries.

“We are trying to simplify the mortgage application process for intermediaries, and improve the customer service model across the board.”

Besides the latest policy changes, The Woolwich is piloting a new and shorter intermediary application form.

After drawing broker complaints for processing delays and late payment of procuration fees, The Woolwich claims its service model “is getting a lot better”.

Rob Clifford, managing director of mortgageforce, says: “I&#39m in favour of any lender short circuiting the onerous paper-based application process.

“I wouldn&#39t expect any lender to take huge additional underwriting risks in return for speeding up the process, but lots of things can be done without undermining lending risk.”