I sympathise with Stead but am sure he must have been writing on a bad day as even at the worst of times, I’ve never spent half my working week hanging on the phone.
And I disagree with his comments about BDMs too. Most of mine are helpful and accessible.
But one thing that amazes me about lenders is that three and a half years after regulation they can’t get KFIs and offer letters right and they regard us as mad if we complain.
Many treat the matter of compliant KFIs and offer letters with contempt. One recently refused to put my fee in its offer letter, saying I would have to put it in my confirmation letter.
I’m getting used to having to cover myself with extra paperwork pointing out errors. In fact, with the last three lenders I’ve dealt with, the process has been as follows:
- Abbey: Its website shows a £1,200 clawback of remortgage incentive when it is £200. Its offer letter also gets this wrong but you do get a tacky insert with the offer explaining this.
Kent Reliance: Telephone staff tell me a deal I’m doing has free legals and a free valuation. Kent Reliance does not produce a KFI but its website doesn’t let me produce one either. It says I must use Trigold or Mortgage Brain. I use Trigold, where the KFI is not shown as lender-verified.
The KFI does not show a free valuation. When I ring the lender, I’m told I can strike the fee out myself.
- Nationwide: My deal has to go to the specialist unit. The unit is helpful and tells me the product has free legals and free valuation. When I point out that I can’t get its website to say that, it tells me it can’t produce a KFI for me until it receives an application.
Its website quotes five-year fixed rate proc fees at three-year fixed rates.
Trigold KFIs for Abbey are more accurate, although they are not shown as lender-verified.