Halifax criticised for conflicting information

Ramesh Sharma

March 4, 2006

A source has told Mortgage Introducer that Halifax was offering borrowers one rate through its call centres, with the intermediary lines rejecting the same applications.

He admitted his shock and argued the lenders’ call centres were providing ‘false promises’ to borrowers. He said: “The call centre twice said OK to a client of mine who had been self-employed for only a year, and had no accounts to show. All that the client had was the tax assessment. I phoned the intermediary helpline in Cardiff twice and they said no. Then on prompting from me on the second occasion they even referred to an underwriter but it still said no. This put me in a difficult position. I haven’t heard from the client since and I suspect they are applying through the call centre and will return to me when the requirements, not surprisingly, cannot be met.”

He added he agreed with the lender refusing the client credit, on the deal he requested: “I do not question the decision as it is only right when 97 per cent is being asked for.” He added: “What I object to is misinformation being apparently given to the client.”

Responding to the criticism Paul Fincham, senior media relations officer at Halifax, admitted he was unable to talk about individual cases without further information but said: “Our policy does require three years employment history for self-employed applicants. Individual cases may be referred to an underwriter based on the circumstances of the applicant. This is standard practice.”

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