Following a massive turnaround in the intermediary lender’s service, more than 72% of intermediaries said they are either satisfied or extremely satisfied with the service they now receive from AfI, with only two per cent dissatisfied.
The year-on-year improvement follows a heavy focus on service under new managing director, Alan Mathewson. The lender has introduced a number of changes to make it as easy as possible for intermediaries to place business with it, including:
• reducing requests for paperwork
• collecting more information over the telephone
• improving case ownership and the escalations process
• putting more underwriting resource into the business
• improving Mortgage Application Tracking System (MATS) messaging to make messages more relevant and useful
• introducing a number of enhancements to AFI.com
The changes have enabled AfI to reduce its average mortgage offer to just nine days, an improvement it is committed to maintaining and building upon in 2011.
Alan Mathewson, managing director of Abbey for Intermediaries, said: “These results show the real progress we’ve made in improving our service over the past 10 months, but this is just the beginning. There is more work to be done to enable us to really lead the industry on service excellence, and we are committed to introducing further improvements over the coming months to build upon the progress already made.
“We want to become the intermediary lender of choice by offering not only great products but consistently great service too. Successful packaging of cases is key to us being able to deliver this, and we will continue to work closely with intermediaries in 2011 to support this and help make it as easy as possible for intermediaries to place their business with us.”
Terry McCutcheon, group chief executive at Finance Planning Group, said: “The positive changes Abbey for Intermediaries have made to their processing proposition have been noted by all at Finance Planning; from speedier offer times to best in class response on the phone, the turnaround has been amazing. Our customers rely on our advisers and it is positive that we in turn can rely on lenders like Abbey to deliver for both us and them."
Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “We have witnessed a real transformation in Abbey for Intermediaries in recent months. In the early part of 2010, we were having regular conversations with them concerning service issues but since then, AfI have dramatically turned things around. They have significantly invested in resources, training and technology, radically improving their broker facing service proposition and demonstrating their commitment to the intermediary sector.”