Northern Rock slammed for service levels

Northern Rock has come under fire for its poor service levels from frustrated brokers who say its current standard for an offer is 28 days.

George Henderson, sole broker of Independent Mortgages & Financial Solutions, says: “As a lender, Northern Rock is reactive not proactive.

“Its case tracking system keeps disabling me with no explanation and its call centre staff can only pass on information and do not seem to be properly trained.

“Northern Rock used to have good service levels before it became aggressive in trying to attract new business and it now comes across as arrogant and without a care for the broker.”

Other brokers say the problems have become so serious that clients are losing their desired properties due to the delays.

Brian Humphreys, mortgage adviser for The Mortgage Shop based in Weston-super-Mare, says: “I am being made to look incompetent by Northern Rock because my clients have already lost one property and may lose another.

“I dont know what happened to responsible lending and the delays on instructing valuations are appalling.”

Ron Stout, spokesman for Northern Rock, says: “In common with other major lenders, we have experienced service issues during the past year. There is no doubt that pressure points can occur when business levels are demanding.

“We are ready to face up to criticism if things go wrong and recognise that there is always room for improvement.

“We will continue to invest heavily in people and systems to ensure that brokers and borrowers benefit from a service that makes the whole process as smooth as possible.”