Lenders congratulated for late night policy

Ramesh Sharma

April 29, 2006

With intermediaries obtaining a significant part of their business through interviews past normal working hours, the need for lenders to provide a solution to this has grown and Thomas Reeh, chief executive officer at blackandwhite.co.uk, welcomed lenders’ moves to realise this market. He drew particular attention to Standard Life Banks’ service and said: “Apart from its online facility, we can get an approval-in-principle (AIP) over the phone in about 15 minutes, up to 10pm at night. This is great for our advisers as most of the interviews we conduct are in the evenings.”

Jackie Moran, head of sales proposition at Standard Life Bank, said lenders were increasingly realising the need to offer a service beyond the normal ‘nine-to-five’ working hours. She explained: “We can usually go through a case within 15 minutes which helps speed of service. Call volumes do drop a bit after five o’clock, but we still receive a significant number of calls up until 8pm. We review the time we offer the service to, but demand at the moment has meant that we have stayed open and available for brokers.”

She added online offerings were becoming increasingly popular. She said: “Intermediaries and clients are realising the benefits of going online to submit applications and business, as it allows people to go through the mortgage when it best suits them.”

Phil Perry, director at ARK Financial Planning Limited, said a service for intermediaries to submit cases past five or six o’clock to lenders was rare. He commented: “I do not think it is common to have a team at the lender looking at cases past normal hours. We occasionally submit business after six or seven o’clock, but we do this as we know it will be on the lenders system first thing in the morning. If there was a dedicated team available after normal working hours that would be useful.”

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