Halifax rated the UK’s best bank

Michael Lloyd

June 5, 2019

Halifax has been rated the UK’s best bank and Coventry Building Society the best building society, The Mortgage Lender Benchmark has found.

Meanwhile Barclays and Metro Bank remain the poorest rated banks. This is a six monthly assessment from brokers, of the service and propositions offered by lenders. The study was carried out by financial services review and research website Smart Money People.

Michael Fotis, founder of Smart Money People said: “While firms, including Halifax, HSBC and Coventry Building Society, received overall satisfaction scores above 90%, poor communication and difficult application processes in particular made brokers less likely to recommend other lenders.

“This is against a background where in the first half of 2019, broker satisfaction with lenders has declined slightly.”

The top five banking lenders are Halifax, followed by BM Solutions, NatWest, HSBC and then Santander. The top three building societies are Coventry Building Society followed by Accord Mortgages and then Principality Building Society.

The top three specialist lenders are Pepper Money, Bluestone and The Mortgage Lender, while the top three lifetime lenders are more 2 life, L&G and LV=.

Halifax is the UK’s highest rated lender with speed and ease of application being two key strengths.

Brokers are recognising significant improvements at HSBC, with its overall rating jumping past 90%, a significant improvement from H2 2018 when it stood at 78.2%

Nationwide slipped a little, with the length offers remain valid for, an emerging issue. Barclays offers great rates, but not much else is pleasing brokers and Metro Bank remains the UK’s poorest rated bank

Pepper Money is the UK’s top rated specialist lender, with relationship managers performing particularly well.

The overall satisfaction of brokers with the lenders with which they do business with is 81.6%, slightly lower than H2 2018. Eight lenders received overall ratings over 90%

Satisfaction with relationship managers climbs above 80%, but the ease of determining product eligibility has declined.

Speed to completion, online systems and criteria received the most feedback from brokers in H1 2019, with criteria leapfrogging both online systems and customer service to become the second most commented on theme by brokers.

Building societies are getting faster, and remain the highest rated lender-type overall while specialist lenders are getting slower, and few brokers are likely to recommend them.

In addition, the performance of most lifetime lenders is improving, with brokers increasingly willing to recommend them

The Net Promoter Score (NPS) of firms ranges from +76.2 to -69.2, reflecting a wide gap in lender performance.

Brokers were also asked to describe the personality of each lender, with words including awkward, generous and frustrating all appearing in the top ten words used to describe one big six lender.

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