C&G’s commitment to brokers questioned

Cheltenham & Gloucester is being accused of bypassing brokers by encouraging estate agents’ inhouse brokers to submit applications via branches to avoid delays.

Sources say an internal email was sent by C&G group managers telling staff to contact inhouse brokers and tell them to submit applications via its instant offer system, which is only available to branches.

Deals submitted in this way will generate offers in seven to 10 days and inhouse brokers will not receive proc fees.

Over the past few weeks brokers have been facing delays of six to eight weeks when using traditional intermediary channels to submit business to C&G. They have complained to Mortgage Strategy that the lender’s service levels have plummeted.

Sara Gwit, an IFA at Essential Money, says this calls into question C&G’s commitment to brokers, adding that the practice undermines a business channel that the lender has told her is responsible for 85% to 90% of its mortgage deals.

She says: “I emailed Kevin Purvey, head of intermediary sales at C&G, about this more than a week ago and have had no response. This speaks volumes. We are in a challenging business environment and if lenders are closing the door on brokers they should tell it to us straight.”

A spokeswoman for C&G says: “As part of our everyday business, branch managers may approach estate agents outside existing broker relationships.”