fbpx

COVID-19 mortgage business operational updates

Mortgage Introducer

March 28, 2020

Below you will find the latest updates from businesses relating to their plans for COVID-19. Should you have an update please email [email protected]gageintroducer.com.

Note this page will be updated regularly. 

Accord

In line with government guidelines, Accord Mortgages is moving its business development advisers (BDAs) and telephone business development managers (TBDMs) to home working to try and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

As a result, we are changing the way we respond to queries, but have significantly increased the resource on our webchat service and ask that advisers use this facility (available via the website) to enable us to support them over the next few weeks.

We also have our business development managers (BDMs) available via email or mobile phone.

We are working hard to ensure any impact to service levels are kept as a minimum and thank all brokers and partners for their continued understanding.

Please check our website and social channels for the latest service levels and useful information.

Air Group

At the moment, we are very much carrying on with ‘business as usual’ albeit under these exceptionally unusual circumstances. We are all still finding our feet in this new ‘socially distant’ world and, while it’s a challenge, it’s also remarkable how quickly our industry has been able to adapt.

I’ve talked to a lots of Air Group members in recent days, and I know that as they’ve adjusted their own sales processes to meet the demands of social distancing and isolation, many are concerned about what happens next with regards to crucial aspects of the lifetime mortgage application process – namely valuations and conveyancing.

These processes rely on both the valuer and lawyer meeting a client face-to-face and/or entering their home; given the most recent control measures announced by the government, that is now all but impossible, especially for conveyancing which (among other things) requires the mortgage deed signature to be witnessed.

Air Group has the interests of its members at the top of our list and we’re in daily contact with lenders to get updates on how they, and the connected parties to this process, intend to navigate through this issue. There are innovative solutions being discussed and we expect to be able to provide members with some good news on this over the course of the next few days.

We will communicate again with members on these points, including how we are moving forward with them, shortly and we are urging members to get in touch with us if they need help or if they have any further questions.

ASTL

The ASTL takes the well-being of its staff, members and associates very seriously. We are maintaining a close watching brief on governmental warnings and the increasing impact that COVID-19 is having on our country and we will follow any official guidance as required.

Given the Prime Minister’s announcement on Thursday and following the news that many large public events have already been postponed we have chosen to defer our quarterly meeting until a later date.

That said, it is still business as usual!

However, should ASTL need to close its offices, our staff can work from home. There should be little or no impact on our ability to respond to business telephone or social media contact and therefore we will retain the ability to provide you with our full and comprehensive service. Where appropriate, our phone lines will be diverted as required.

We will, of course, update you further if things change. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support and we wish everyone well during this unsettling period.

Broker Conveyancing

Clearly at the moment our primary concern is the health of our staff and their families – in that sense, no risks will be taken.

We have put a number of plans in place including: all non-essential travel will cease – our area directors will work from home for the foreseeable future; plus all our office-based staff can work as normal from home if we need to close the office – they each have phones and computers linked to the office, so we expect business to continue as normal.

We continue to communicate to our adviser users via phone and e-mail to reassure them that we are continuing to work as normal, and we have also seen the respective plans from all of our law firms and know that they too have rigorous plans in place.

Computershare UK

We’ve changed our working practices to keep our contact centres operational whilst taking steps to take care of our people’s health, including through the use of homeworking.

However, over the last week we’ve experienced an increase of around 500% in call and email volumes as many borrowers understandably want to speak to us about how coronavirus is affecting their mortgage payments.

Everyone will get their request dealt with – but to enable us to get more of our people working from home, we’d ask borrowers to delay any non-urgent enquiries and use their lenders’ website to access information and manage their accounts online wherever possible.

In line with the recent government announcements, we are of course working to implement a payment holiday of up to three months for any customer who contacts us and requests support and can tell us how they are experiencing a direct or indirect financial impact as a result of coronavirus.

We’ve taken thousands of calls since the announcement on 18 March and will make sure everyone is taken care of.

Dock9

Following remote working tests last week, from Monday this week all of our team are now working from home until further notice. As a digitally focussed company we are very well set up for remote working and do not see the current situation greatly affecting the service we are providing to our clients, which along with our staff’s wellbeing, is our top priority.

Contact – we are available on email and phone lines (with the same telephone numbers) are still open as normal during business hours.

Workshops – we will be moving these to remote workshops which we have already done previously for our overseas clients and work very well.

Client Meetings – we have many tools available to us to hold meetings remotely, namely Google Hangouts, Zoom and Skype.

Development – our developers are all on hand to continue to support existing and new projects.

Advice – myself and our client services team are all on hand to provide any advice on your current digital projects or any improvements to your digital offering that you wish to make in light of the current climate.

Whilst these are uncertain times, we will endeavour to keep our clients in the know on relevant and useful information that can help.

Dudley Building Society

Dudley Building Society has taken steps to ensure that continuity of service for introducers and their customers will be maintained during the current challenges brought about by COVID-19.

The society is keen to underline its commitment to ‘business as usual’. Service on pipeline cases is unaffected and new cases can be submitted in the normal way.

BDMs will now provide online and telephone support only and will therefore not be meeting partners in person or attending roadshows, conferences or other industry events until further notice.

A remote working strategy came into force on 17th March for employees, to ensure continuity of service from our servicing teams.

Existing customers who are concerned about their mortgage payments are being urged to call Dudley’s Mortgage Servicing Team which will offer support and assistance.

eligible.ai

Considering the evolving COVID-19 situation, I wanted to personally reach out to provide an update on what we’re doing at Eligible.

Our team is guided by two priorities: being available to support you and ensuring that our service is uninterrupted.

We’re keeping ourselves safe, by taking precautionary remote working measures to make sure we’re here when you need us.

As part of our commitment to Business Continuity we have tested and measured our ability to remain fully functional and maintain SLAs. This test has been 100% successful and we are confident business will continue as usual for us in the event of any further restrictions.

We understand that this is a very difficult time for all businesses and therefore if you would like some free advice, guidance or tips on how you can deploy remote working, please reach out.

Fleet Mortgages

At the moment we’re in a business as usual situation for Fleet Mortgages, but recognise the importance of following all the guidelines in order to keep our staff and their families safe and risk-free as possible.

Our sales team is still out in the field and we’ve told them that they can continue to see advisers if they are happy to do this and if the adviser is also happy.

That said, we also recognise that in the near future this might not be possible and we’re therefore putting in place a series of measures to deal with such a situation.

Clearly, our sales people will be available via phone and email as usual, plus our regional BDMs are setting up specific WhatsApp groups for their broker contacts – these can be used to communicate on specific Fleet mortgage enquiries but also to allow advisers to communicate with their peer group.

We feel it will be useful for all to share information as the situation progresses. At head office we have the capability for staff to continue to work remotely and have access to our systems – currently one member of staff from each of our different departments is doing this as a trial and this has helped us work through a small number of technology issues that have been raised.

Rest assured, that Fleet is in a very strong position to continue operating regardless of the situation and we’ll be working with all our adviser partners to help them through this period.

Foundation Home Loans

We continue to assess the impact of Covid-19 on our staff and customers in line with government advice. Our approach is one of pragmatism and common sense.

With regards to our existing borrowers who may experience payment difficulties as a result of Covid-19, we will determine appropriate forbearance options based on an assessment of the borrower’s individual circumstances, as we always do.

Impact Specialist Finance

We will be keeping a close eye on the government warnings and the increasing impact that COVID-19 is having on our country. We will follow any official guidance as required.

Ensuring the health and wellbeing of our staff, their families, our partners and clients is of our greatest concern.

As it stands, we are business as usual. However, should impact need to close it’s offices, all of our staff can work from home. The impact portal is ‘cloud’ based and therefore there should be no impact on the ability to continue to provide you with our full range of packaging and client referral services. Our phone lines will be diverted as required.

We will update you further if things change.

Thank you for your continued support and stay safe.

Howard Kennedy

Our priority remains the health and well-being of our people, our clients, suppliers, friends and communities.

In line with government advice we have asked our people to work from home where possible. We have tested our infrastructure and we are confident that remote working at scale is achievable for extended periods of time. You will not see any change in the level of support from us. It’s business as usual, just not in the usual place.

Our offices at No.1 London Bridge remain open for now for essential meetings. We also have established protocols for undertaking all our usual business processes outside of the office, including video conferencing.

Keystone Property Finance

Keystone Property Finance will be changing to remote working for all staff including head office as a precautionary measure to protect the health and safety of the team amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Our investment in our online systems means we are 100% cloud based which allows all our staff members to work remotely from home.

This includes our telephone services which will enable us to continue to assist brokers with their cases and enquiries. We expect to be able to continue with our service as near to normal as possible.

We have already taken the decision to halt face to face meetings between our external business development managers (BDMs) and brokers.

The team now offers meetings via video call, as well as being contactable through email and telephone. Our BDMs will also not be attending any events in an effort to reduce the risk posed to our staff and wider team.

We will continue to monitor the guidelines set out by the UK Government closely and should the situation change we will act accordingly.

Landbay

We are conscious that you will be receiving many messages from businesses relating to COVID-19.

However, we feel it’s important to provide an update on the actions we are taking to ensure the business remains fully operational whilst much of the country shifts to remote working.

As an agile technology company with cloud based systems, we are fortunate that this transition will be straightforward.

Having anticipated the possibility of remote working for some time, we’ve been busy preparing our staff, whilst testing our virtual working environment to ensure a seamless transition, with no disruption to service.

We will be shifting to a fully remote environment over the coming days and will keep you informed as we do so.

If you have any questions, please speak to your BDM. Alternatively, email us on [email protected] or call us on 0207 096 2700.

We look forward to working with you during these challenging times.

Lambert Smith Hampton

In light of the evolving Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we would like to update you on the steps we, at Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), are taking.

We continue to closely monitor government advice and are taking action in line with our Business Continuity Plan (BCP), to reduce the risk to our people and clients from COVID-19. The health, safety and wellbeing of our employees and clients remains paramount.

Our BCP allows us to continue to provide a fully uninterrupted and high quality service to our clients. We have resilient infrastructure and fully tested systems which enables us to adopt smart working practices.

With this in mind, we are advising colleagues to avoid any unnecessary travel and large gatherings of people, to help reduce the potential exposure to COVID-19.

We have conference and video call facilities in place to remain fully connected to both our people and clients at all times.

Unless government advice changes we will, continue to attend key stakeholder meetings, in consultation with our clients.

We have over 1000 professional staff operating from our extensive office network across the UK and Ireland.

This, together with our IT platform, means that in the event that any of our people become unwell, we have the company resilience to continue to provide an uninterrupted service to clients.

We are continually monitoring and reviewing the escalating situation in line with the latest government guidance and will keep you updated on developments.

Finally, our thoughts go out to those already affected by the outbreak.

MCIFA

We are living in turbulent times. However, business continues at MCIFA.

We are committed to putting the health and safety of our clients and our staff as our top priority. Despite the UK governmental escalation in measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 this week, we will maintain full operational status.

Our office will operate as normal with the exception of face to face meetings. Our highly experienced team will be available by phone, email and video conferencing. All remote measures and systems have been tested should restrictions increase, with zero impact to our operations.

Our business plan remains resilient to any negative effects of the COVID-19 crisis. It has been a great first quarter for MCIFA and we will continue to provide market leading financing in the prime property sector with unrivalled levels of service.

We want to make it clear that we will continue to work with our clients to the highest level. If you are seeking financing or looking to renew your current financing, please get in with Kristina or Jon and we would be happy to discuss with you.

In the meantime, please stay safe and be well in these extraordinary times.

Mortgages for Business

Mortgages for Business has announced its COVID-19 business continuity plan in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The plan outlines Mortgages for Business’ positioning over the next few weeks to support its continuing focus on maintaining its service levels for customers and protecting the health and wellbeing of its employees.

All staff are working from home and have access to the company’s full system within a secure IT environment.

Mortgages for Business are hosting meetings via video call and using Microsoft Teams, alongside telephone and email. The internet-based telephone facilities allow employees to manage calls via employee mobiles.

The company is maintaining a small skeleton staff of two employees in its West Malling office and one in Wilmslow, to provide administrative assistance where necessary for a minimum of two weeks.

Mortgages for Business are actively monitoring the evolving situation with COVID-19, including government statements and liaising with lenders to provide clients with the most up to date information.

Steve Olejnik, managing director at Mortgages for Business, said: “As the situation is continually evolving, we are taking a measured and safe approach in line with World Health Organisations’ guidelines to ensure that we protect our staff and minimize any potential risk to our clients and business operations. We are continuing to monitor and follow the guidelines and advice from government closely and will update our continuity plan as necessary.”

OMS

Following yesterday’s government announcement, we are updating you on our preparedness to maintain our services over the coming weeks and months.

We have a well-developed and tested work from home capability which ensures that all key functions within the business can operate via secure remote working. This will enable us to maintain a ‘business as usual’ approach to our platforms and support functions.

Our helpdesk will maintain normal hours of service.

You can reach our helpdesk Team through the normal channels via [email protected] or on 0203 911 2211.

Peritus Group

The wellbeing of our employees and clients is of the utmost importance.

With the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, we have put measures in place in order to prioritise the health of our employees and clients alike.

We pride ourselves on our open-door policy for clients and welcome anyone who wishes to pay us a visit, however, due to the current crisis we will be suspending all face to face meetings until further notice. If you wish to rearrange your visit, please give us a call on +44 (0)203 745 5892 or contact your broker directly, and we will gladly rearrange.

We understand that this a challenging time for the business community across the globe. Our team have always had the ability to work remotely ensuring that our clients continue to receive an excellent, seamless service. Both Peritus Corporate Finance and Peritus Private Finance are very much open for business and you can click here to contact your broker directly

We thank you for your patience and support during this time and hope that you all stay safe and well.

Positive Lending

Let’s work together to keep business going.

In recent days I have been talking with my team as to how we can best support brokers and their clients over the coming weeks. The answer is simple, we all need to work together.

There are undoubtedly tough times ahead. Many of us are anxious about the unknown situation we face. For our families, communities and businesses. But together, I believe, we will be stronger. I am delighted to report that the tenacity of our team to fight for each and every one of your clients is already in evidence. And whilst some lenders may (understandably) move goalposts, we will continue to deliver the best solutions that we can from our 100 strong lender panel.

We can help your clients and your business during this outbreak.

Positive remains open and, while it’s not ‘business as usual’, there is still much business to be done. Lenders are lending, clients need funding and we are perfectly placed to assist you.

Our staff are mostly working from home, connected by technology and with full access to the systems they need to find the very best loans for your clients.

We know which lenders to approach and their appetite to lend

We’re talking with our wide panel of specialist lenders on a daily (or more frequent!) basis so that we completely understand their positions on lending criteria, pricing and appetite to lend. The market is in flux and it’s our job to understand the opportunities for you.

Again, our strong relationships with our lender partners mean that we are having frank discussions and understand exactly where your enquiries are best placed to achieve the loan. If you have any cases which may need our assistance can I please ask you to act now as access to funding, surveyors or solicitors may become problematic for some in the days and weeks ahead.

Supporting clients and keeping business alive (albeit from our home offices!)

We expect this sector to slow-up. We are prepared for this but by working together and ensuring clients continue to receive the very best finance available to them, we can help them, help you and help our business to weather this storm.

Most importantly I, and my team at Positive, wish you and your loved ones well.

Keep safe and keep in touch.

Shawbrook

The health and wellbeing of Shawbrook’s business partners, customers and employees is always a priority.

We are monitoring the developing coronavirus situation closely and adhering to guidance set out by the UK government and Public Health England. The full impact of this challenge is clearly yet to be felt, but Shawbrook is well-prepared from an operational resilience perspective and all our staff are fully remote-capable, with access to all relevant systems.

We would like to emphasise that our doors are still very much open, and we’re committed to supporting the intermediary community during these unprecedented times.

Our sales team may not be out on the road, but a familiar voice will be at the end of the phone to discuss any concerns or field enquiries on existing or new cases.

Thanks to the many brokers who have been in touch to check on how we are and to wish us well. From the entire Shawbrook team, stay safe and healthy, look after yourselves and those around you, and thank you for your continued support.

SortRefer

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we’d like to update you on our business continuity plan and our work with our panel suppliers.

As we all know, the situation is evolving daily, but our continuity plan aims to minimise disruption to customers and suppliers whilst safeguarding our employees. These plans will be reviewed regularly, and we will share updates as the situation develops.

At present we are dealing with business as usual and our head office remains open, although we will shortly move to a phased working from home for ‘at risk’ employees.

We’re minimising the health risk to employees, ensuring all best practices for personal hygiene and behaviours are met by all employees and we have been planning for a period of disruption, with arrangements being made so that business operations can continue.

All employees have the use of remote working technologies and communication such as Citrix Remote Desktop, advanced telephony services and Microsoft Teams for staff to work from home when deemed appropriate.

Travel has been minimised and all external events have been cancelled and we’re only accepting visitors to the office if deemed necessary, however only should they feel well, and they must adhere to our internal preventative measures.

We are in close regular contact with our panel suppliers to ensure we are still able to continue as usual. They have provided details of their continuity plans and many of them have already rolled out remote working. Our team have all the necessary contact details for us to remain in contact with our suppliers during this time.

During this unprecedented time, we’re all working our hardest to ensure the health and wellbeing of our staff and to ensure business continues as normally as possible.

We’re still available on our usual contact details: [email protected]

0333 456 4567

Thank you for your support during this time and we hope you all stay safe and well.

TFC

TFC will be following the advice set out by the UK Department of Health. Our overriding focus is the health & safety of our people, our partners and our clients. TFC and our lender partners will work hard to maintain the high standard of service that you and your clients are accustomed too.

TFC has a robust Business Continuity plan in place to ensure that it will be business as usual for all. Our business continuity plans include a Work from Home (WFH) strategy to maintain business services if it becomes necessary to restrict access to our Manchester head office. We have also introduced a stay at home isolation policy for anyone displaying symptoms or returning from affected areas.

Paperless Office & Cloud Based Remote Systems & Servers

Our offices have been paperless for some time and all business and documentation is managed by our system 1APP. The 1APP servers are hosted by Amazon in a number of countries with the benefit of the BCP standards they maintain.

All users have remote access to cases 24/7 via 1APP. This will allow all working practices to continue from any location. 1APP allows DIPs, product selection, download and upload of documents, lender management and all with real time contact with our people.

Our WFH strategy covers all TFC operational and back office services including:

Underwriting
Telephony and all Call handling
Customer Services & Support
Sales
Business Intelligence /Reporting
Technology
Compliance
Product & Marketing
Our Lender & Supplier Partners

We are working closely with our lender & supplier partners to ensure that service will continue as normal. Our position may need to evolve in line with any further updates from the Department of Health or changes in local circumstances. We will communicate any changes to you as events evolve and conditions in time improve.

On behalf of us all at TFC, our lender and supplier partners, we would like to thank you all for your continued support and we wish everyone good health during this difficult time.

Scottish Building Society

We are following the latest UK government guidance to limit travel and contact as we all pull together to delay the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

From today until further notice, your local BDM will be working remotely and will not be travelling.

As an essential service, our priority is our customers: our intermediary partners, their clients and our members.

So you can expect your BDM’s full support, via phone and email, to support you and your clients throughout this next period.

Stonebridge

Clearly the safety and well-being of all Stonebridge staff is of paramount importance, as is the support we continue to give to our hundreds of AR firms across the country.

We continue to follow WHO and government guidelines and to remind staff and our network members of the NHS advice and the steps they should be taking in order to protect themselves.

Like all firms in the sector, we may well have to change the way we work in the coming days and weeks in terms of colleagues working remotely.

While it’s currently business as usual, we have comprehensive contingency plans which can be invoked to ensure that all our central departments in Basildon, Milton Keynes and Nottingham remain functioning so that we continue to provide the great service which our member firms are used to.

Technology is clearly at the heart of this and we’ve reiterated to our 680 mortgage advisers how we will maintain our services, particularly given our Revolution system is cloud-based, and we anticipate that if face-to-face advice is prohibited or unwise then most brokers will move to an email and phone model.

This is all about ensuring both our staff and our mortgage advisers stay safe, and that Stonebridge can continue to operate effectively as a supportive network in the face of this dreadful situation affecting us all.

Twenty7Tec

As we navigate these difficult and unprecedented times, I wanted to write to you all personally to make you aware of the steps that the team here at Twenty7Tec have taken to ensure continuity of service to all of our customers.

1. As you may have noted, we implemented a travel and face to face meeting ban on all our sales and relationship teams from last week, and banned external visitors to our office.
2. On Monday of this week, we implemented ‘Pod Working’ in our office, which restricted the amount of team members that could be in the office at any one time together to limit social contact.
3. On Tuesday of this week, we moved all critical services, including our Product team who update our SOURCE platform with lender product information, and our Helpdesk team, to secure home working.
4. All other colleagues now have the ability to self elect to work from home in a manner that enables us to fulfill all required functions to continue to develop our product and service our customers. Our office for the moment remains open however.

We posted an update on our website and social media today, which you can read below. This states that our Helpdesk is, and will continue to operate at full capacity with no changes to either working hours or service levels.

https://www.twenty7tec.com/news/covid-19-update-helpdesk-to-remain-open/

We can, and indeed at present expect, to continue to run our entire business using this new operating model for a significant time to come, with no disruption to our services or continued product development.

Further, we are wholeheartedly committed to doing all we can to ensure that you, our customers, can continue to service your clients in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Our company values state that as a business, Twenty7Tec will lead through innovation, always deliver, and do so with integrity. Those values stand as true today as they did two weeks ago, and will continue to stand whatever the weeks and months ahead may throw at us all.

May I take you the opportunity to wish you and yours all the very best. If there is anything we can do to support you and your business further at this time, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Watts Commercial

Watts Commercial Finance is closely monitoring the developing situation concerning the Coronavirus. As such, we have implemented our robust business continuity plan to ensure that we continue to operate at full force during these uncertain times.

Watts remain committed to supporting our clients through this difficult time to ensure that they can continue to operate during this period of uncertainty. Therefore, if any of our clients require support throughout this time, our commercial managers are on hand to assist.

We are regularly updating our employees on the situation in line with government advice on the necessary precautions to take to ensure they and their families remain safe. We have also implemented extra measures to ensure that our employees are prepared to work remotely where required.

Some of these measures include:

–          Temporary cancellation of all non-essential meetings at our offices

–          Temporary cancellation of our upcoming wind down and social events

–          All long distance travel which involves extensive time on trains or in confined spaces to be reviewed on an ongoing basis

–          Voice and FaceTime meetings to be offered to clients with remote access provided for all managers

As the outbreak continues to evolve, we will provide further updates as our circumstances change.

In the meantime however, it’s business as usual.


Sign up to our daily email