Skipton ‘fesses up to service delays

In an email to brokers yesterday Paul Darwin, head of intermediary sales at the mutual, apologised unreservedly.

He said: “I want to say a massive thank you for the fantastic level of support you have provided this year so far.

“Unfortunately, whilst we have invested heavily in new staff in both the sales and support teams, recent daily volumes are having an impact on our ability to maintain service levels.”

He went on to say: “I am a firm believer in good service having a real and commercial value, so I wanted to keep you informed of our position to allow you to manage your clients' expectations.

“Let me reassure you we are working hard to rectify the situation and will be implementing a number of changes immediately to achieve this.”

With immediate effect valuations will now be instructed upon receipt of application, which the society claims will help reduce the turnaround time to offer.

But in a warning to brokers the society added: “Please be mindful that should the valuation be carried out and we are unable to proceed with the application, the valuation fee will have already been paid to the valuer and may not be refundable.”

Payam Azadi, director at London-based brokers Niche Advice, said: “I think every lender is having to cope with unprecedented levels of service at the moment – not to mention the MMR!

“Obviously there are some lenders that are ahead of the game and unfortunately – not that I’m saying this applies to Skipton – others that are having to play catch-up.”