View more on these topics

Internet Insite

After my first visit to south Wales (Mortgage Strategy March 15), I had an email from a broker in Swansea. Inter City Finance wasn&#39t sure whether to be miffed, disappointed or relieved that I hadn&#39t reviewed its site. Ever one to please, I thought I would make a return visit but this time just to Swansea. Can&#39t say I&#39m impressed. Select Mortgages doesn&#39t offer much and nor does Mortgage Solutions Swansea. As for Inter City Finance, there&#39s more here but the site doesn&#39t make it easy to find and that broker probably wishes he hadn&#39t emailed me.

If you want to recommend a broker website for me to include in my reviews, email the website address to me at mortgage.strategy@centaur.co.uk

Select Mortgages

www.selectmortgages.net

The promise on the far too long homepage is: &#39Saving you time and money. We pride ourselves on achieving this for you.&#39 But there isn&#39t much fulfilment of this promise in the website itself. Click on &#39introduction letter&#39 and while a nice letter does come up, it&#39s overlaid by a pop-up screen saying: &#39Didn&#39t find what you want? Try these sites,&#39 with a whole bunch of alternative sites from the Select group covering mortgages, loans and insurance. Found what I want? I haven&#39t even had a chance to look yet! The same happens when you click on &#39terms of business&#39. The other pages in the menu bar may be marked mortgage, remortgage and loan but they are really just enquiry forms with no information at all.

Mortgage Solutions Swansea

www.mortgage-advice-wales.com

The homepage here is a tad too long – it would be much better to make it fit into a single screen without having to scroll down – but it does include a matter-of-fact explanation of what the company does. Whether you do this or go for a pithy strapline, you still need to fulfil the promise that you&#39re making to the site visitor. For example, it&#39s good to talk about satisfied customers but testimonials to back this up say so much more. The navibar only has three options – click on mortgages and you get some basic information on mortgage types plus an addition to the navibar listing various customer types. Looks promising – except each type, from first-timer to buy-to-let, brings up the same enquiry form. Nice web address, though.

Inter City Finance

www.intercityfinance.com

Wading through the site, I found the words: &#39You won&#39t find loads of useless information on this site.&#39 Now there&#39s a challenge. So ignoring the photo of the owl, I waded again. Loads of information? Er, yes. Useless? Well there&#39s all that text about &#39who we are&#39 and &#39what we do&#39 and &#39why come to us&#39 – including information about the company&#39s &#39considerable&#39 costs which as a prospective customer I couldn&#39t give two hoots about (perhaps the owl does?). I had trouble finding useful and well laid out information in the main site although there&#39s always the inserted Moneysupermarket pages. And if you want to get visitors to tell a friend about your site, a good tip is to spell out the web address correctly in the email message panel.

Recommended

Mortgage firms account for 70% of direct authorisation applications received by FSA

The FSA says it has received 4,229 applications for direct authorisation and estimates at least 70% of these are from mortgage firms. Speaking at the FSA&#39s T&C Conference last week, Sarah Wilson, director of high street firms, says the regulator had, as of March 31, received 13,210 registrations for application packs, of which 5,945 were […]

Arctic Angels prepare for Polar Challenge

The eg Arctic Angels toasted their sponsor and supporters onboard the SS Great Britain as they prepared to set off for their Polar Challenge. The SS Great Britain in Bristol was the historic setting for a special send off for the eg Arctic Angels as they prepare to make history as the first team of […]

Stick to the facts, Richard

From Neal SmithCome on Richard Griffiths. You&#39re obviously a perspicacious chap but your column in last week&#39s Mortgage Strategy (March 29) was blatant tub-thumping! I can forgive you for not including The Whitechurch Mortgage Network in your full network choice offering in the March 22 issue of Mortgage Strategy but please leave mud-slinging attacks on […]

Will the Post Office become a threat to intermediaries?

The Post Office is now offering personal loans, the first in a series of low cost financial products to be launched as part of its personal finance joint venture with Bank of Ireland. People will be able to borrow between £1,000 and £25,000 and interest rates on the loans will range from 8% to 15%. […]

Thumbnail

Under the radar – Fit for Work and sickness absence

Earlier this month we sat in on a presentation delivered by the Fit for Work service, and this session did highlight one small but important change to the offering that we must admit had slipped under our radar. The Sickness Absence Review published in 2010 suggested that the Independent Assessment Service (now branded Fit for Work) should have three access points; referral by […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up