EXCLUSIVE: Brokers get direct line to Woolwich underwriters

Nia Williams

January 20, 2012

The lender is rolling out the service improvement nationally after a successful pilot in Scotland which Woolwich says has improved the quality of submissions and speeded up processing.

After a case is submitted brokers will receive a phone call direct from the underwriter who has reviewed it.

Brokers will be given an accepted or declined decision and in some cases the underwriter will be able to offer a lower advance so the lender can accept it.

Any additional information required by the lender to process the case will also be requested in this call and brokers will be given a direct line number should they have further questions.

David Finlay, intermediary channel director at Woolwich, said: “Access to underwriters is something brokers are always asking for and very few lenders have come up trumps by giving it to them.

“This will be a service enhancement not just for the broker but also for the end customer who will see quicker and slicker mortgage processing.”

Finlay said the pilot in Scotland had “exceptional” feedback from the brokers involved.

“It’s made the process faster for us because we can cover everything off in that one phone call,” he added.

“We’ve seen a marked difference in the quality of submissions since doing it this way.”

Finlay also revealed that brokers will also get a longer period of five days to submit an application after booking a deal.

“There is a real commitment to brokers at Woolwich and these improvements show we do see intermediaries as a very important channel,” he said.

Last year Woolwich did 54% of its mortgage business through intermediaries and Finlay said the lender is planning to do the same in 2012.

He added that the lender is currently working on three or four initiatives to bring it into line with its competitors and also one or two that he thinks will give Woolwich an edge in the market.

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