The third edition of the Mortgage Lender Benchmark, a six monthly assessment of the service and propositions offered by lenders, is released today. With a wealth of in-depth data from 468 brokers, the report highlights the wide disparity of service being offered by some 44 lenders, which include banks, building societies, specialist and lifetime lenders.

The report includes individual SWOT analysis pages and heatmaps for the 44 lenders with the most feedback, helping to provide an in depth assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of these lenders. A summary version of the report is available, and can be found at:

Firm insight:

  • Halifax is the UK’s highest rated lender, a position it has in each of the last three editions of the Mortgage Lender Benchmark. The speed to process applications through to offer and the ease of application remain its key strengths
  • Accord Mortgages is the UK’s highest rated building society lender, the first time it has achieved the top spot
  • Fleet Mortgages is the UK’s top rated specialist lender, with communication performing particularly well
  • more 2 life is the UK’s top rated lifetime lender for a third time
  • Atom Bank is the most improved lender. Its overall satisfaction rating has increased by 9.5%
  • The business development managers of more 2 life and Pure Retirement, two lifetime mortgage providers, are the highest rated across all lenders
  • Barclays offers great rates and criteria but brokers remain unsatisfied with all process themes, including its online systems and underwriting
  • M&S Bank is the UK’s poorest rated bank

Market insight:

  • The overall satisfaction of brokers with the lenders they do business with continues to decrease. It now stands at 81.1%. This is a decrease from 81.6% in H1 2019 and from 82.1% in H2 2018
  • Brokers continue to be most satisfied with the performance of building societies, who outperform banks, specialist and lifetime lenders
  • Only two lenders received overall ratings over 90%, down from eight lenders in H1 2019
  • Speed to completion, online systems and criteria received the most feedback from brokers in H2 2019, with most brokers commenting more negatively about speed this time around
  • Broker sentiment around themes including product range, criteria and flexibility remains high overall, but it has declined across specialist lenders
  • For the first time, our analysis suggests that BDMs play a very significant role on the likelihood of brokers to recommend a lender
  • Brokers sharing feedback about adverse credit cases were the least satisfied with the performance of lenders
  • The Net Promoter Score (NPS) of firms ranges from +72.6 to -70, reflecting a wide gap in lender performance

Brokers were asked to assess the last five lenders with which they’ve attempted to place cases. Some 2,340 items of lender feedback were received, covering 93 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 and overall ratings. Verbatim responses provided brokers with a way of describing what they like and do not like about particular lenders.

Brokers were also asked to describe the personality of each lender, with words including difficult, old and slow all appearing in the top ten words used to describe one big six lender.