Lenders should open on weekends, a mortgage broker from Newport-based estate agent PinkMove has argued on LinkedIn, receiving 79 likes at the time of writing.
Jamie French, operations director at PinkMove, wrote: “The mortgage intermediary market is not Monday to Friday so why are lenders only Monday to Friday??? Lenders are always asking the question what can we do to help you? For me open on a weekend.”
French argued that many brokers work weekends but are held back by lenders failing to follow suit.
He went on to say that in the technologically driven world people expect updates all the time.
He said: “As a brokerage one of our core principles is ensuring a smooth customer experience. If we speak to a client Friday evening and need to check some criteria with the lender, the client has to wait until Monday. This causes some clients sleepless nights and unnecessary anxiety in my opinion.
“The market is changing and the industry is being disrupted, brokers are trying to adapt and survive. I do not feel that lenders are moving in the same direction, though we have some challenger banks that are adapting digital mortgages that spring to mind.
“The life of a mortgage adviser would be better too – a lot of brokers across the country come in to a back log of enquiries received over the weekend plus the need to speak to lenders. This cause unnecessary stress for the adviser too.”
He cited Skipton as an example of a lender that opens on weekends, as it is open for a half day on Saturdays.
He said that people want a decision and updates immediately and cited one lender who after not answering the phones over the weekend, started work on Monday morning with 44 voicemails.
French’s post generated a number of comments, with many agreeing and disagreeing.
Mike Richards, an independent mortgage adviser, agreed, writing: “I am often working on Saturdays and Sundays and could do with being able to discuss a case or more importantly moan about the submission process!”
Raman Kumar, a mortgage and protection consultant, agreed, saying there’s more business on weekends.
He wrote: “Well done Jamie, lenders need to understand more queries and business happens on weekends. If advisers can work on weekends to get them business, they should be able to provide assistance to get more business in. These are the times for providing great clients service.”
However some disagreed, citing business or leisure reasons.
Chris Brooking, sales manager at David Ingram Residential, wrote: “Surely they’ll get the business regardless. Maybe there’s more to life than work? It would only change if one lender was available at the weekends and got more business because of it.”
Paul Castellini, mortgage adviser at Westmore Insure, added: “I disagree with the comment as a broker. Yes I will work on weekends if I need to fit around a client, but if I can’t get a straight answer for them, I wait until Monday. I’ve never had a client say I’m not using you or I’m going somewhere else because the banks are shut.
“If you manage the clients expectations correctly you should never come up against these issues. We all need to rest and play at sometimes otherwise you burn yourself out.”
Jamie Pritchard, head of sales at Precise Mortgages, seemed to think lenders should help by answering the phone or relying to emails but not be open weekends.
He wrote: “Truth is hardly anyone does call and emails are a handful – you can do them in five minutes and get back to the important stuff – the family.
“The week is for working – but if I can help for a few minutes on a weekend that could be the difference with someone getting their home or not – I’m thinking of some new build deals I helped out with a few weekends back.
“Family first though.”