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Two Rock remortgage panel members named

Countrywide Mortgage Services and the broker arm of estate agency Connells are just two of the brokerages Northern Rock recommends when it contacts borrowers to encourage them to remortgage with other lenders.

Countrywide and Mortgages By Phone have confirmed they are on the lender’s preferred panel of brokers. Sources say First Complete, Legal & General Mortgage Club and MoneyQuest have also been recommended but they have not confirmed if they are on the list.

Brokers are incensed at Northern Rock’s insistence on using a panel of brokers to encourage clients to leave when their deals end.

One broker contacted Mortgage Strategy after hearing from a long-term buy-to-let client.

Having completed his two-year deal with Northern Rock, the broker assessed the borrower’s options and found that staying on its SVR was best advice.

Weeks later the client received a call from the lender suggesting they change providers and use either Mortgages By Phone, Countrywide, L&G or First Complete.

The broker is livid that his client was directed to another brokerage instead of him.

He says: “We’ve paid the wages of Northern Rock employees for years by directing business its way. Why isn’t it referring borrowers back to introducing brokers who know their cases?

“What right does Northern Rock have to send my clients elsewhere when I have already given them best advice?”

Northern Rock has refused to confirm or deny the presence of the brokers on its panel but a spokeswoman for the lender says: “When customers come to the end of their deals, a number of options are available to them.

“They can arrange to remortgage with another lender, access one of the Lloyds TSB products that might be available to them or stay on our SVR.”

She adds: “Ideally, customers looking to remortgage will use their existing brokers to arrange this with another lender.

“If they do not have a broker they wish to use, we can help by offering to refer them to a member of our broker panel.”

She adds that the listed brokers offer fees-free whole of market advice to Northern Rock clients.

Ben Thomson, head of mortgages at L&G, says: “Northern Rock is in an exceptional position but we do not wish to comment on whether we are on its panel or not.”

First Complete and MoneyQuest refused to comment.

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