Nationwide to review data protection policy

Ramesh Sharma

March 11, 2006

Brokers have criticised the lender for not accepting faxed copies of customer authority, and Jamie Bogle, mortgage adviser at Integrated Financial Solutions For You, argued Nationwide was using data protection as a way retaining clients. He criticised the building society for not allowing a faxed certified copy of the borrowers original authority and said: “I think Nationwide Building Society are trying to be as obstructive as possible to brokers in order that they don’t remortgage its customers away from it. By charging a £75 fee, it is well aware that nobody is going to pay this, and so a broker will ask their client to ring Nationwide direct in order to obtain the information themselves. This allows Nationwide the opportunity to keep the customer by offering them another deal. This sounds OK from a Nationwide business point of view, but will no doubt cause strains from an intermediary point of view.”

He added his disgust at the lenders decision to charge a £75 administration fee.

“Surely if the customer is handing their agreement to me to obtain this information on their behalf, Nationwide do not have £75 in costs to overcome? The customer is entitled to this information for free, no matter who obtains it for them,” he said.

Responding to the accusations, Tim Hughes, head of intermediary markets at Nationwide, said data protection was vital to both client and lender piece of mind and it would now be reviewing its policy. He said:“We are a prudent lender and have to treat each application with care. However we have decided to review our policy of not accepting faxed copies. The £75 administration fee is currently under review.”

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