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Woolwich tranche system ‘worse than getting Glastonbury tickets’

Brokers are still having problems getting funding through the Woolwich’s intermediary tranche system.

The system, which was launched in January last year, allocates time slots for mortgage funding to select distributors.

Last year, advisers criticised the system after long waiting times, only to be told that their club or network’s funding had run out for the day.

Oakhurst Financial Planning managing director Frazer Horton was unable to receive funding two mornings running last week after calling the tele-funding desk at 9am.

He says: “I have phoned two days in a row. It is worse than trying to get Glastonbury tickets.”

Mortgage Practitioner principal Danny Lovey says: “It is a nightmare. The last time I put a mortgage with Woolwich, I managed to get it done quickly but the time before, it took me four or five days to book it.”

A Woolwich spokesman says: “We have some extraordinarily attractive mortgages at the moment which are extremely competitive. As a result there can be short periods where funds are not immediately available – this does not happen often and we strive to minimise the occasions when it does.”

Brokers have been complaining to Money Marketing about the difficulty of getting funding through Woolwich’s tranche system since early 2009.

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries, last year called on Woolwich to look into the problems advisers were facing after a number of complaints from members.


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There are 22 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. No complaints at all through Sesame Network!

  2. I have been trying for 2 days to (unsuccessfully) book funds – everything Woolwich do is designed (or so it appears) to annoy brokers!

  3. Thats the easy part, it goes to the diabolical at process stage and plain ludicrous when an an offer is to be produced and all of this in a foreign language and no complaints system!

  4. I tried Monday Tues and wednesday this week and made sure that as my PC clock it 11am i pressed the option 6 button. 1 second after 11am told all funds had gone what a joke they are!! I have since put the mortgage through Natwest and recieving excellent service. Woolwich will be a last resort for me until they improve. Clients could risk losing a property if they had to wait for the Woolwich system

  5. Having been trying for the last week to book funds – to no avail. Have lost two mortgage cases over it. Each day everyone in our office has been calling the Woolwich at the same time with the hope that someone gets through to their funding lottery!!!!

  6. Competetive rates but also the world’s worst service – they are to mortgages what Aviva is to pensions

  7. I’m disgusted with their service on the funds booking line, which even their so-called BDMs declare they can do nothing about. Even ringing bang on time, the option 1 or 2 went straight to a ‘no-subscriber’ tone.
    We’ll move Heaven and earth to avoid them!

  8. On top of the horrible tranche system, their MAX application system takes 3 times longer to complete than any other. MAX stands for ‘makes applying excruciating’ – the upside is that if it is fast track, it is very quick indeed – so the rule is that you pick and choose the type of business to go to them. I got a proc fee paid on a remortgage 2 weeks after the application went in – that’s fast

  9. Ketan Yadav - Avenue & Co Private Finance 19th February 2010 at 3:55 pm

    I have been using the Funds online booking system via Woolwich in the past, and recently via Sesame Network – Absolutely no problems whatsoever.

    MAX System really does take getting used to. It is the most complex lender online mortgage system and we repeatedly have problems, (but lucky to have a great BDM – Graham Johnson).

    Woolwich can do alot more to simplify the process, it’s needlessly complicated.

  10. Rather short sighted to be critcising a system which is designed to control outflows without resorting to dual pricing like Santander, HBOS, Nat West and others !!

  11. I think Woolwich are brilliant! Most of the mortgages I arrange are commercial, so tackling a resi is a breeze.

    I have no problems with booking funds (maybe because we’re on the direct channel) and the “overseas” call centre rarely understand what I’m talking about, especially regarding affordability so often just take my word for it and fax a mortgage offer almost quicker than I can hang up the phone.

    If you think MAX is complicated, maybe you’re in the wrong profession!

  12. Again no problems through Sesame MAX system works well if you are used to it! (ie submitting regular business)

  13. My experience is of frustration. If they have a market leading rate, you have very little chance of securing the funds whatever time you call. I understand why they use this service but it is unwieldly and there has to be better options.

    The Call Centre is also very poor. I had a case where I could not get pay slips. They asked for alternative proof which I provided. They subsequently asked for pay slips on another 7 occassions wasting around 3 weeks. I had the same conversation with different people at the call centre every time.

    I for one will be avoiding them as much as possible.

  14. This is a real issue I have experienced. I do not like using Woolwich as I have found their service in the past to b a joke. Last week I had a client where the best option was the Woolwich lifetime tracker. I had to re-register as I had been deleted due to lack of submissions. After 3 days I got my log on details to be told at 2 minutes past 10 that all the funds had been allocated for my Network. How can this be I thought as I had called at 10am, on the dot. The next day I was told the “funds had been allocated” at 45 seconds past 10am by an automated response.

    Not to be dismayed I contacted my Network who told me, don’t worry I can get the funds booked for you in the next couple of days at we go direct to the relationship Manager.

    It is therefore no wonder that the system falls over as the system is circumvented to plicate “he who shouts loudest”. It is a total disgrace, when I asked my Network to put a statement out to the effect that “don’t use Woolwich as they cannot cope” they declined to see my point of view, the suitability letter will be a work of art, as the next best option for the client will cost him £55.

    As a broker I know that I get shafted from every angle but there is no place to hide at the moment. If I could leave the industry today I would. I find it difficult to operate in an industry where the only way to serve the client is to go “through the back door”, this is not an isolated incident and I am fed up with the whole experience, I try my best to be compliant at all stages but in the current climate I cannot operate with this mind set.

    Will anyone listen, no I doubt it, does anyone care, no, YOU ARE JUST A BROKER at the end of the day the Network will take their fees for as long as they can and will only help if you become a pain the proverbial.

  15. Unfortunatley due to the Woolwich not treating advisers or our clients fairly they have been consigned to the ‘black book’ of companies we refuse to do business with at this time. My advice to all intermediaries is to do the same. It is by only showing companies that bad service leads to reduced business levels will they improve. If they dont want intermediary business at the present they should be professional about it and tell us.

  16. Not before time that Woolwich (or Barclays as they prefer to call themselves when they ring you) appalling service is exposed. We have just been banned from giving them business for 90 days for having the temerity not to pre book cases, as this was our third “offence” in 15 months we are banned. There is no prompt on their system to remind you to book funds. The BDM’s are there to prevent business not to promote it, it is a disgraceful way to treat a supplier of new business.

  17. Woolwich is the worst company to deal with in the Financial services Industry.

    The tranche problem is only the beginning.

    The on-line application system is easily the most frustrating piece of software to use anywhere in Financial Services – literally hours needed to input a case.

    The case tracking is never up to date – in fact, it can be weeks out of date.

    The people in Mumbai don’t have up to date information – which means that they are next to useless.

    They lose documents on a regular basis. They scan documents that are unreadable when they reach the underwriters and they then have to be furnished a second or third time.

    Even if you get an offer, it usually contains mistakes – fee deducted rather than added, wrong amount etc etc

    The list goes on and on. Woolwich has been receiving about a third of my mortgage business over the past 3 years and I keep hoping it’s going to get better. I wish their products weren’t so competitive because then I wouldn’t feel compelled to use them.

    If all companies were this bad I would be broke or in the madhouse.

  18. I ask myself why am I not surprised that this is being reported, again. Everything that comes from Barclays and Woolwich before them is a sack of rubbish!

    Funds booking should be a good idea, here are the funds we are prepared to lend to each of the networks, here’s a great product, fill ya boots. In practice, the have made a half arsed attempt at this system with no real thought process put into it.

    Their call cantre is a nightmare, even just trying to get through the to the service centre makes your blood boil, then you actually talk to India and whilst they are very good at telling you what is on their screen,they are no actual use at helping reslove most simple problems like what is outstanding. In my recent experience, heaven help you if you need to change an offer.

    MAX is another floored system, they were one of the last of the major lenders to release an online submission system, so you would think that it would be a perfect chance to look around at everyone elses sysytem, see what worked and create a decent online application practice, instead the IT team seem to have spent millions developing complex software for no thoer reason than to keep them in a job, perhaps they aren’t stupid after all!

    This has turned into a bit of a rant, but only tips the iceberg of what is wrong at Barclays, and I feel that it is safe to say that the only thing they get right on a regular basis is the mortgage rates.

  19. I’ve been patient with Woolwich and given them several opportunities. I’ve tried several times to book funds for several cases but have never suceeded. Even phoning on the dot, every time I was told the tranche for the day was used up.

    The result? I dont use Woolwich (basically I can’t thanks to them!) and never will while this process remains.

    Totally useless lender as far as I’m concerend.

  20. Started dialling then pressing the redial button continuously from 8.59 on Friday and today until switchboard opened. Got through at 2 seconds before 9.a.m. only to be told that PMS’s allocation for the day had run out. No sense having great products or a single pricing policy if you can’t access them. MAX system comfortably the worst out there by a country mile. Not in the slightest bit intuitive and uses expressions that only Woolwich staff know what they mean and its no sense saying it’s ok once you get used to it, because how can you get used to it, if you can’t get a funds booking reference in the first place. Shambles.

  21. The fund booking system is a complete farce.
    I have phoned on the stroke of 9am, 10am & 11am over the last 3 days for PMS, L&G and Pink funds—-none available. Today, funds had been exhausted within 10 seconds of 9am.

  22. Just been told that my application has been refused because of affordability issues. No one has been bothered to contact me i only found out sfter chasing it up with them. Best thing is when the application was filled in over the phone i was told the affordability check has come back clear !!!!!!

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