The fourth edition of the Mortgage Lender Benchmark, a six monthly assessment of the service and propositions offered by lenders, is released today. 467 brokers took part in this survey, and the report highlights the wide disparity of service being offered by some 42 lenders, which include banks, building societies, specialist and lifetime lenders.

Overall broker satisfaction with the lenders they do business with has increased to 82.7%, up from 81.1% in H2 2019 (December). Across all case types, satisfaction with product transfers has soared to 86.2%, up from 83.2% in H2 2019. And while banks and specialist lenders have seen the greatest increase in overall satisfaction, building societies remain the highest rated sector, and four of the five highest rated buy to let lenders are now building societies.

Broker satisfaction across lifetime lenders is largely flat, although brokers reported finding it harder to determine the maximum loan amount and product eligibility across this group of lenders. The ease of determining product eligibility for lifetime lenders fell to 77.7%, down from 82.5% in H2 2019.

A summary version of the report is available, and can be found at:

Overall brokers are more satisfied with the performance of relationship managers, customer service and the speed offered by lenders in particular. And while broker satisfaction with mortgage lenders has jumped to the highest levels seen since our tracking commenced in December 2018, COVID-19 had an impact on a number of themes. Brokers talked more negatively about product range, communication and the clarity of criteria in this edition.

Top performing lenders

Top 5 banks:

  1. Halifax (no change)
  2. HSBC (up 2 spots)
  3. NatWest (down 1 spot)
  4. BM Solutions (down 1 spot)
  5. Atom Bank (no change)

Top building society & buy to let lender

  1. Godiva Mortgages (up 6 spots)

Top lifetime lender

  1. more 2 life (no change)

Halifax remains the UK’s highest rated bank with ease of application and speed remaining key strengths. Godiva Mortgages, Coventry Building Society’s buy to let brand sees its overall satisfaction increase by 11%, and is now the highest rated lender in its category. more 2 life remains the UK’s highest rated lifetime lender and is some 9% above its nearest competitor. Metro Bank is the UK’s poorest rated bank with underwriting and a lack of flexibility reported by brokers as the biggest pain points. The NPS of lenders, a measure of loyalty, ranges from +73.1 to -40.0, with the average across all lenders increasing to +30.8.

Brokers were asked to assess the last five lenders with which they’ve attempted to place cases. Some 2,335 items of lender feedback were received, covering 90 lenders. The research delivers ratings on lenders’ communication, ease of determining product eligibility, and speed to offer, among others. Brokers also left net promoter scores, overall ratings, and provided free text descriptions about what they like and do not like about each lender. The full report includes individual SWOT analysis pages and heatmaps for the 42 lenders with the most feedback, helping to provide an in depth assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of these lenders.

Brokers were also asked to describe the personality of each lender, with some brokers using particularly vivid language. One broker described Barclays as a “1980s Victor Meldrew” and another described HSBC as offering “market leading bravery.”