Barclays restructures and commits to lend more
David Finlay, director of Barclays’ intermediary channel, said this was “phase one” of a 12 month plan to be more transparent with brokers and speed up completion times.
Six field-based intermediary relationship management positions have been lost while a team of eight telephone relationship managers will be based in Cardiff to increase Woolwich’s proactive and reactive contact with all brokers.
Woolwich plans to double the size of this team over the next year and Finlay said a consultant based out of Cardiff will remain a point of contact for all intermediary enquiries.
The lender has also done away with all key account managers replacing these roles with a team of national account managers.
Graeme Johnson and Yatin Patel will each take on the role of national account manager and will report to Sarah Green who becomes head of national accounts.
Woolwich has also created a new role for Christine Matthews who will work with all key distributors to improve quality, compliance and regulatory standards.
Finlay said: “This is part of a journey we are taking over the next 12 months to improve the quality of our relationships with brokers. They have told us they want faster decisions and more contact with experienced people who understand the market – that’s what we are trying to give them.”
He said Woolwich is “absolutely committed” to the broker channel and he added: “I can categorically say that we will lend more on mortgages through brokers next year than we will this year – even if the market remains flat.”
Gross mortgage lending at Barclays rose to £7.8bn in the first half of the year and Finlay said the lender is now 20% ahead of plan for the intermediary channel with a “strong pipeline” going into Q4.
Finlay said the restructure came after extensive research with brokers who told the lender they wanted faster more decisive responses to applications.
As part of this he revealed that Woolwich has plans to share more information with intermediaries including publishing a “one off” list of all documentation required for all applications as well as increasing the time spent helping brokers get application forms “clean first time”.
The lender also plans to start offering a “restructured decision” if an application is declined first time where the loan to value is lowered or the term lengthened to help cases fit criteria.
Finlay added: “Brokers have said speed is important to them and these changes are designed to give us more capacity to lend more by cutting processing times and making our pipeline wider and faster.”
Finlay also said that at present Woolwich has no plans to link its procuration fees to case quality but he added “never say never”.
Woolwich for Barclays won best lender at last night’s Mortgage Intelligence awards.