Alliance & Leicester has come under fire from brokers stunned by the lender's unwillingness to do business with them.
Following on from a story in last week's Mortgage Strategy over Newcastle restricting its business to a small panel of introducers, sole broker Julie Tanner got in touch to complain of a similar practice at A&L.
Having registered online with the firm she was sent an email stating that the lender was unable to place her on its intermediary panel.
The email says: “To enable A&L to provide you and your clients the service you require it has had to make the difficult decision to limit the number of intermediaries on its panel.
“In line with all lenders, A&L are preparing for regulation and with its panel currently over subscribed, the company is unable to accept your registration.”
But Tanner says: “Being used to having business development managers coming around and begging for business, I was stunned.
“Alliance & Leicester appears to have so much business coming in that small sole traders are of no use to it.”
Andrew Robinson, director of mortgage operations at Alliance & Leicester, says that restriction has been a vital part of maintaining service levels.
He adds: ” A&L is looking for a commitment from new brokers who register. If brokers register to use us once in a blue moon it means that they have to go through registration and provide references, which is quite a lot of work at our end.
“If the relationship is only on when there is the occasional no-brainer cheap product about, it is not to anyone's advantage.
“Inevitably, if brokers only use the online service once in a while they aren't familiar with it and often phone the helpline which means the service to our regular customers degenerates.”
A&L says it is revamping its registration process this week and reviewing it further in the summer.