Openwork drops Portman from panel after lender survey

Openwork has named and shamed lenders giving poor service and removed Portman from its panel in an attempt to improve its standards.

The Openwork Mortgage Advisory Panel service survey names HBOS as top lender, with the group accounting for four of the seven highest rated lenders.

Portman appeared at the bottom of the rankings, resulting in its removal from the Openwork panel.

Other lenders who ranked poorly in terms of service include Bristol & West, Capital Home Loans, NatWest, Scottish Widows, The Mortgage Works and The Woolwich.

Paul Shearman, mortgage proposition director at Openwork, says the aim of the survey is to help lenders improve their service and that Openwork will be issuing a 20-page document to larger lenders telling them which areas of their service delivery need attention.

The survey was responded to by 202 Openwork advisers who were asked questions about lenders’ products, online technology, underwriting and case processing, sales support, complaint handling and the quality of Key Facts Illustrations.

Shearman says: “TMW remains on our panel and Openwork is working closely with its team. A small number of other lenders have been put on notice that they are not delivering to our expectations and need to improve.”

Matthew Wyles, group development director at Portman, says: “We always welcome constructive feedback from our partners.The Openwork survey results were based on a handful of respondents and it’s clear Portman’s exit from the Openwork panel is based on a broader commercial rationale.

“TMW has had a hugely successful year and we readily admit that this growth has led to service pressures. Our investment plans for 2006 address these issues and we look forward to an enduring partnership with Openwork.”