From Steve Neale I recently met a client looking to buy a property, whose current mortgage is with The Woolwich tied on a fixed rate until June 2006. It made sense to stay with it until the rate expired and review the mortgage then. The new mortgage amount meant a stretch of income was needed so I rang my BDM who told me to ring an underwriter. I did this, explaining the need for an income stretch (19 years of mortgage experience tells me to be specific when discussing incomes) and was told the stretch would “not be a problem”. So I submitted the case only to receive a letter a few days later saying it was unable to offer the full amount, even though the case had been discussed with an underwriter. The Woolwich has a tape recording of my discussion with the underwriter (I bet when this complaint reaches the regulator the tape is lost or deleted) and claims the conversation is invalid because I did not get an AIP number. As my clients had not had the property sale agreed, I did not want a search carried out that day. So The Woolwich underwriters can say yes to anything over the telephone. As well as spending time meeting my clients and filling in forms, what infuriates me is the loss of credibility in my clients’ eyes. If any of your readers have stories where The Woolwich has promised to accept a case, only to refuse it when it receives an application, I would welcome their comments.