AFI reports improved customer satisfaction

MM alan mathewson
MATHEWSON: CREDITED FOR BETTER SERVICE

Abbey for Intermediaries says it has reduced its average mortgage offer turnaround time to just nine days, down from 14 a year ago.

The lender says in the past 10 months it has seen a 50% increase in satisfaction levels among intermediaries, based on a poll of 400 brokers.

It attributes these improvements to new managing director Alan Mathewson, who took who over the role from Ricky Okey in May last year.

It says 72% of intermediaries are either satisfied or extremely satisfied with the service they now receive from AFI, with only 2% dissatisfied.

The lender has introduced a number of changes under Mathewson, including reducing requests for paperwork, collecting more information over the telephone and putting more underwriting resource into the business.

Mathewson says: “These results show the progress we have made over the past 10 months.

“But there is more work to be done to enable us to lead the industry on service excellence and we are committed to making further improvements.”

Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, says: “We have witnessed a transformation in Abbey for Intermediaries in recent months.”

He adds: “In the early part of 2010, we were having regular conversations concerning service but since then, AFI has dramatically turned things around.”

Meanwhile, Santander UK revealed last week that it retained its 18% share of the mortgage market in 2010.

Figures show that it completed £24.2bn of gross mortgage lending in 2010, which is slightly down on £26.4bn in 2009.

In the first six months of 2010 the company reported gross lending of £12.3bn. This is slightly up on the past six months when it did £11.9bn in gross mortgage lending.

The stock of properties in possession rose slightly to 873 cases from 820 in 2009. However, this represents only 0.05% of the book.

Overall, Santander UK showed a profit after tax of £1.7bn – up 11% on 2009.