Support is critical in the mortgage industry. Kevin Paterson\'s A-Z review rates the marketing material that lenders issue to help brokers with sales and business development

As you’d expect from a specialist broker-centric lender, The Mortgage Business has a slick website that does exactly what it says on the tin. Resplendent in its trademark yellow livery the website has loads of helpful detail and great functionality. The marketing of the range of products is clear, quickly identifying depths to this lender I did not know existed.

It will be interesting to see what will happen to The Mortgage Works now Nationwide has swallowed Portman, especially as Nationwide has its own specialist lender in UCB Home Loans. The Mortgage Works has made deep inroads into the broker sector in a relatively short time, although I have never been convinced Portman needed a separate brand.

The Mortgage Business
Of course I knew of The Mortgage Business before reviewing this website but I have rarely used it as a lender, not because of any issue with the products or service but rather a lack of understanding about what it is. I suspect brokers polarise into those who like me have little understanding of TMB and those who are big supporters. This is something that HBOS would do well to concentrate on as with the least known and underutilised brand in the stable there is a big win available if it markets TMB properly. There is loads of useful information and material available to download and the interactive section of the website is everything you’d want from an online lender. It’s easy to see why it has won awards for functionality.

The Mortgage Works
The specialist lending arm of Portman concentrates on buy-to-let, self-cert and adverse lending, and the website does a good job of marketing all these. There is some helpful information either to view online or download. The functionality is comprehensive too, with Key Facts Illustrations and decisions in principle available online. The graphics are a bit tedious after a while – there are only so many happy jumping people you can look at. The products are competitive and a straw poll in the office shows the service lives up to the claims on the website. Overall the website has pretty much all that you need and is clear and easy to navigate. But given that Nationwide has its own specialist lender in UCB Home Loans I am not sure where the future lies for TMW, even in a multi-brand strategy.