Woolwich retention strategy seems to want it both ways

From Nigel Pamment
I’ve recently started using the services of the Woolwich retention team on clients with Woolwich mortgages when they are due for review.

It’s good that lenders are starting to pay retention fees as brokers should be rewarded for keeping them in business. But Woolwich is trying to keep its business with clients on the one hand and cut out brokers on the other.

It is sending letters to clients about two or three months before their rates come to an end asking them to pick a rate, then sign and return the paperwork. This is wrong on two counts. First, it is hoping to get to the client directly before the IFA does and save on paying a proc fee and second, what if rates come down before the new rate starts and the client has signed three months earlier?

We all know lenders change rates like nobody’s business and most re-mortgage cases can be completed in a matter of three to four weeks so this cannot be classed as treating customers fairly.

Most IFAs have clients who would not dream of doing anything without first consulting them but there are a few who will do anything to save paying our fees because they believe they don’t need financial advisers to tell them what to do with their money.

If a lender is paying retention fees rather than doing this, why not send duplicate paperwork to the broker? Then if the broker doesn’t act in time it’s their own fault.

Nigel Pamment
Senior holistic planner
Inspirational Financial Management