Product development manager Elliot Nathan says the main problem has been poor back-up from lenders when online services have failed. He says: “There have been back-up contingency plans to get KFIs over the phone, which is all very well as long as you have the staff.”
Nathan would not identify the worst culprits but said that some of them are among the top 10 lenders.
He has also been disappointed by the lack of training and technical expertise at lenders. For example, one lender’s operator did not understand why Charcol had only one FSA number, as it is directly authorised, and was having problems inputting the number into the system.
One of Charcol’s main concerns is that smaller firms may begin to feel the pinch. Nathan is concerned that smaller brokers may be having to turn business away because of problems with lenders’ online capabilities at a time when lending starts to slow with the traditionally quiet Christmas season.
Nathan says: “It is really disappointing. Lenders have had two years to prepare. In three or four months, I am sure that we will all be looking back on these weeks and laughing but remember it is ultimately the customer who is losing out.”