Fitch affirms HML’s rating

Fitch Ratings has affirmed HMLs ratings in recognition of HMLs proven credentials in administering UK residential mortgages, and acknowledging improvements in the operational effectiveness of the companys Londonderrry operation.

Fitch rates European residential mortgage loan primary and special servicers on a scale of one to five, with one being the highest rating. Fitch upheld both HMLs RPS2+UK(Prime) and RPS2+UK(Subprime) ratings.

After the migration of HMLs call centre to a centralised facility in Derry, Northern Ireland, in 2005, Fitch had concerns over high service levels being maintained at the new facility.

However, following implementation of several initiatives including One Touch, performance has returned to pre-migration levels. Fitch noted the average first call resolution rate rose to 86% for the nine months ended October 31 2005 from 66% the year before.

Fitch says: Fitch is pleased with the progress HML has made over the last 12 months. The percentage of calls answered, abandonment rate and average hold time are considerably better than the average for other UK-rated primary servicers.

The ratings are based on HMLs proven ability to effectively administer UK residential mortgage loans as well as its well-diversified client base and continued support from its parent company, Skipton Building Society.

“The ratings also reflect the companys strong commitment to ongoing business development, evidenced by several projects geared at process improvement, arrears management and general reporting.

Data from Fitch showed the percentage of calls answered hit 98.6%, the abandonment rate sits at just 1.27% and average hold time was only 17 seconds, considerably better than the average for other UK-rated primary servicers.

Paul Fenn, development director at HML, says: HML is extremely pleased to be affirmed as 2+ for both our Prime and Sub Prime servicing.

“The migration to Derry and our transformation programme are key elements in HMLs continued development and we are delighted Fitch are in agreement with our growth strategy.