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Silent treatment from Woolwich

Two years ago, I placed clients on a two-year discounted mortgage with the Woolwich.

Our clients have had their letter stating that they are moving onto the variable rate and are keen to review their mortgage options. It is a good case with a low loan to value ratio and no arrears.

Our clients signed an auth-ority for us as their IFA to speak to the Woolwich mortgage customer retention team. Despite this mandate, I called the Woolwich to be advised that it is not their policy to speak to IFAs/mortgage brokers regarding the deals they offer to “their” existing customers.

This raises several issues, especially when we are trying to comply with mortgage regulation and give our clients best advice. As an industry, we are often accused of frequently churning mortgages when the best option may be to stay put. How can we advise our clients when the existing lender will not speak with us?

Woolwich spend tens of thousands marketing cheap remortgage deals to attract new customers while on the other hand letting existing customers slip through their grasp owing to their lack of openness and inability to communicate with their introducers.

The company would do well to copy firms such as Halifax and Nationwide who will deal frankly and openly with their introducers. In the meantime,I am quite happy to stop dealing with such an unhelpful and secretive organisation.

Iain Wishart

Partner,

Hurley Financial Services (IFAs),

Edinburgh

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