Woolwich accused of fee delays

Brokers are experiencing serious delays in the payment of procuration fees from The Woolwich.

In the worst cases, brokers have still not received payment for cases that completed in May. At least two national broker organisations – who do not want to be named – have complained to The Woolwich.

In a memo to The Woolwich last week, one said its members were still awaiting payments for mortgages completed in September and describes the delay as “unacceptable”. And a source at another network told Mortgage Strategy: “Some cases we have chased 14 times. The Woolwich has admitted problems making payment, which it attributed to IT problems.”

But Perry Jones, a spokesman for The Woolwich, says the lender is unaware of a problem: “It is something we would treat very seriously, but I think payments have been processed as usual. We would like to look at these allegations because they sound rather inaccurate.”

Jeremy Reed, partner in a mortgageforce franchise on the Isle of Wight, says: “We&#39ve got fees from The Woolwich outstanding from completions in May and it&#39s a big problem. It would be fair for the fee to leave the lender to the franchise company within two weeks – but five months is ridiculous. How would The Woolwich feel if borrowers didn&#39t make a payment for five months?”

Rob Clifford, managing director of mortgageforce, says: “We have several lenders for whom late, delayed or lost payments are all too frequent – and that includes The Woolwich.” Andy Wilgoss, managing director of Square Mile, says: “To delay paying procuration fees will do nothing to help The Woolwich win back the confidence of brokers.”