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Rescued lenders fail to impress mortgage borrowers

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by Gill Montia

Mortgage customers with two of the UK’s rescued banks are less than happy with the service they receive, according to new research from Which? Money.

The 41% state-owned Lloyds Banking Group has the furthest to go: only 41% of Bank of Scotland borrowers surveyed expressed satisfaction, while the group’s Halifax unit impressed 44% of home loan customers, and Lloyds TSB 48%.

In the case of the fully nationalised Northern Rock, 45% of mortgage customers were satisfied.

For existing borrowers, not being given access to the same deals as new customers and not being informed of better deals when the need to remortgage arose were both bones of contention.

The survey put HSBC’s First Direct in top place with 89% customers satisfaction; the Co-operative Bank second, with 78%, and One Account (part of the majority state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland) third, with 84%.

Which? chief executive, Peter Vicary-Smith, comments: “Once again, the big banks are failing to treat their customers as well as the small lenders and building societies, despite all of the public funding they have received.”

He urges homeowners coming to the end of fixed-rate deals not to take the “lazy option” and revert to their existing lenders’ standard variable rates, but to check for better deals elsewhere, taking into account reputations for customer service.

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News posted: April 28, 2010

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