Future in firing line over service

Ramesh Sharma

January 21, 2006

Since the relaunch of its mortgage service in 2005 Future has come under continued criticism for poor service standards and delays in dealing with applications.

Broker Steven Thomas expressed his anger that the lender had failed to acknowledge his client’s application, three months after submission. He said: “I submitted a case three months ago and I am still waiting for it to be accepted. The client is now going through the managing director of Citigroup in an effort to see what’s going on and has made a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.”

Another broker, who wished to remain anonymous, has experienced similar problems with the lender. He said: “It has taken weeks for Future to look at anything we send over to them. I submitted a case a couple of weeks ago and when I rang it eight days later I was told that it would not be looking at the case for some time, and that it was still dealing with applications from the 14 December 2005. It doesn’t make sense that with ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ a key principle, lenders can get away with service standards such as these.”

He added the lenders’ application process had made him take further action. “In a previous case I made a complaint because of the service I received but Future never responded and my client never even got confirmation from it that the complaint had been made or received. I think this is awful, yet it didn’t seem to be bothered by it.”

He went on to argue that since the relaunch of its mortgage product range the lender had been unable to cope with demand.

Mark Charlesworth, head of business at Future, said: “We have experienced a backlog since October, but we are fixing this problem and now have about a two-week backlog. I can only apologise for the service and assure brokers we are taking every measure to get this problem fixed.”

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