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Woolwich to assess funding system after AMI concerns

Ami has called on Woolwich to assess its new mortgage tranche management system after member concerns over waiting times and inability to secure funding.

he lender’s new tele-funding desk, which allocates mortgage funding through distributors on a daily basis, has attracted criticism from advisers experiencing long periods on hold only to be told their club or network’s funds had run out for the day.

Ami director Rob Sinclair says: “We have talked to Woolwich after a few of our members came to us with their concerns.

“Some of our members are clearly frustrated with the system and it’s a big issue. Ami members are on hold for 50 minutes and then cut off and that’s not good. Members are finding they can’t get hold of mortgages and that’s not good. There is no certainly for clients and that’s a worry.”

Sinclair admits Ami has “immense sympathy” for Woolwich and commended it for its openness with the association.

He says: “Woolwich contacted us straight away, intermediary business director David Finlay asked me ‘what do you want us to do?’ and he pledged to review the system errors and said he would talk to intermediaries about the problems.”

Woolwich has also pledged to review changing the desk to a freephone number in Q2 2009.

Last week Finlay told Money Marketing: “There is a general perception out there that is wrong – because we have the funding desk and because the funds are running out quickly they think Woolwich isn’t in the market – it’s not true.

“We are looking after brokers who have worked with us in the past, it’s tough, but who do you support? You support your loyal brokers who you want to work with through this tough period.

“We have been up front about how we do things, and we have been honest.”


Asia’s time has come

Asian markets stand at an interesting point after the ravages of 2008, with the much vaunted decoupling theory in tatters. Many commentators suggested the region had shed its long-term reliance on the US, driven by massive growth in countries such as China and India. But after a strong 2007, these markets were significantly down last year, with China off by almost two-thirds over the period.


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