The thrust of his argument is that service is a two-way street – lenders and intermediaries working in tandem to deliver the service everyone in the chain expects. From time to time things go awry and lenders’ service levels suffer. But the way ahead is for intermediaries and lenders to move forward together in a spirit of partnership.In the natural world this is called symbiosis. It has worked well in nature for thousands – in some cases millions – of years. Natural selection and trial and error seem to have it covered. But on the other hand it has taken a considerable amount of time. Service is at the centre of our lives and should be at the heart of what we all seek to deliver. Service should be first, second and third priority in all our daily working lives. So how come every day as a consumer of the service industries, I come across downright appalling examples of service everywhere from supermarkets to high street retailers – not to mention in my dealings with the financial services industry? There are now qualifications in customer service available including an NVQ. This seems an excellent idea. The turnover of service industries in 2004 was just under 700bn so service is of national importance. It strikes me as odd that lenders talk continually about service yet some still find it hard to deliver. I accept that lenders do see spikes of applications depending on what products are being marketed. But when situations such as this occur and service is affected to any noticeable degree, management should do what management is paid to do – manage the situation. The lender should be aware that the intermediary has a customer who has expectations and needs to receive an acceptable level of service. Dissatisfied customers can in some cases lead to an intermediary losing the cases or missing out on future business. In those situations the intermediary is the loser. Any chance of compensation? Of course not. Is service becoming a national problem? Probably not, but it is too important to the UK economy to be taken lightly. From the lenders’ perspective, service can no longer be a sound bite. I suspect intermediaries will be ruthless in their product selections in the future when they think of the places service has been unacceptable in the past. Best rate won’t always be best advice, especially if the client needs quick turnaround. The situation regarding lost business and disappointed customers must improve. Lenders that have had service difficulties can always release a sharply priced rate to recover lost ground – and lost intermediary goodwill. Depressingly, I expect service problems will still grace Mortgage Strategy’s letters pages for some time to come. But I’d love to be proved wrong. Simon biddle
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Money Partners has confirmed rumours that Kevin Friend, former director of sales at Scottish packager Opus, has joined the Middlesex- based lender as head of strategic partnerships. Friend left Opus earlier this month, saying at the time that after two years with the Glasgow-based packager he was looking for opportunities closer to his home in […]
Britannia has launched a two-year fixed rate mortgage offering a rate of 4.29% up to 95% LTV. This is a drop of 20 basis points as the previous rate was 4.49%. The initial rate on Britannia’s two-year discount tracker also falls to 4.35%.
The Woolwich is launching a lifetime tracker range which includes a offset deal at 0.59% above base rate (currently 5.09%) on November 2. Alongside the offset deal it will also provide all new fixed rate mortgages with a built-in lifetime tracker to give borrowers a guarantee for life after their fixed rate period ends.Andy Gray, […]
The fact that the industry has made a pretty good start to life under the Financial Services Authority is in some measure a tribute to the work done by the MCCB, says Brad Baker
Health Shield is putting the final procedures in place to ensure it meets the European Union’s (EU) Solvency II capital adequacy regime.
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