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Abbey attacked as it cuts out paper for mortgages

Abbey’s decision to refuse paper mortgage applications from January has been slam-med by advisers and industry figures, who say its online systems are below par.

From January, all mortgage applications for Abbey for Intermediaries must be submitted onlineHowever, Financial Technology Resource Centre director Ian McKenna says evidence he has received from advisers shows its systems “leave much to be desired”.

Abbey says there are exceptions to the new regime, inc-luding if there are more than two applicants, guarantor applications or buy to let, but other paper applications sent after the cut-off date will be returned.

McKenna says: “We have yet to form our definitive view on their systems but we havehad a lot of anecdotal evidence from advisers that their system leaves much to be desired.”

Hanson Financial Management director Nicholas Hanson says: “I think this move is a narrow, over the top decision. Abbey are obviously cutting costs but they should still offer a paper service for those looking to go down that route, especially if there are potential problems with the system.”

Abbey spokesman Joe Wiggins says: “Levels of complaints against us have dropped and over 90 per cent of brokers use our online service anyway.

“This system makes things faster and more efficient for advisers and brings us in line with competitors.”

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