Scottish Widows Bank’s online service criticised11

Ramesh Sharma

February 11, 2006

David Norton, a broker from Simplicity Financial Services, contacted Mortgage Introducer after five cases within a two-month period saw his computer crash after trying to obtain an agreement-in-principle (AIP).

He said when contacting Scottish Widows regarding the problem he was told this was a regular occurrence but it had no other way of calculating a credit score other than through the online system.

Norton said: “I wasted two hours trying to submit an AIP online with Scottish Widows. I know lender websites being useless is not shocking news, but I feel Scottish Widows’ site is the most frustrating.

“I tried six or seven times and it crashed each time at different stages so I called the lender and despite following its instructions to save as I went, after four minutes of inactivity I was met with a blank screen and an error message.

“I called it again to try and do it over the phone but it told me it could only check to see if it fitted the criteria and not give me a credit score. I couldn’t believe it didn’t have another way of credit scoring.”

Murdo McHardy, head of product development and marketing at Scottish Widows Bank, said: “We had a very busy period around the time we pulled our fixed rates so we had a lot of people trying to access our service. It was probably just unfortunate timing and we did offer people the opportunity to fax in applications when it did become a problem.”

“We are looking at our online position in a full review in the early part of this year and if areas need to be improved, they will be,” he added.

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