Building societies are top rated mortgage lenders for broker satisfaction for an eighth time

New research out today from Smart Money People, the UK’s largest financial services review site, has found that broker satisfaction with UK mortgage lenders has levelled out for H1 2022, as the market prepares to respond to changing customer needs with the cost of living crisis. Building societies remain the top rated sector for broker satisfaction, with Leek United Building Society the top rated building society, and Halifax the highest rated bank.

The results form part of Smart Money People’s twice-yearly Mortgage Lender Benchmark which dissects the state of the mortgage industry according to the views of brokers. The latest edition comprises feedback from over 650 mortgage brokers on 99 mortgage lenders.

Key findings from Smart Money People’s Mortgage Lender Benchmark H1 2022

  • Overall broker satisfaction with lenders has remained level, down only 0.1% to 81.2% however, the industry is still a long way off from results seen in H1 2020 (down 1.5% vs 82.7%)
  • Top broker rated lenders for H1 2022:
    • Top bank: Halifax
    • Top building society: Leek United Building Society
    • Top buy to let lender: Godiva
    • Top specialist lender: LendInvest
    • Top lifetime lender: Canada Life
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS) is down 0.3 points on H2 2021 at +26.8. Scores ranged from -50.0 to +80.0 for the lenders in the report
  • Building societies are the top-rated sector for broker satisfaction for an eighth time
  • Specialist lenders are on the up, with record levels of broker satisfaction, recording an improvement for a fourth consecutive edition
  • Broker ratings for lifetime lenders have fallen, with lifetime lenders’ operational speed seeing the biggest hit to broker satisfaction
  • Broker satisfaction with relationship managers increased by 1.6% and now stands at 78.9%
  • Brokers are concerned about the impact of rising living costs on their clients, with 31.1% predicting challenges when needing to make changes to lifestyle.

Commenting on the findings, Jacqueline Dewey, CEO of Smart Money People said: “The results we’ve published today give a sense of ‘calm before the storm’ in the eyes of mortgage brokers, with the true impact of the cost of living crisis yet to be seen on the UK mortgage market. Our analysis shows that broker satisfaction with mortgage lenders has leveled off over the last six months and has not yet fully recovered to the peak we saw at the start of 2020.

“Brokers are nervous for their clients – finances need to be prioritised and without more flexibility from the industry, the near future is set to bring rising levels of credit impairment, and the market is going to continue to be suppressed if lenders remain as risk-averse as they are now. The comments we received from brokers show the signs of a lack of confidence in the market, if the supply of products and lenders impacts their business model and their ability to support their customers’ needs. Brokers are calling for lenders to offer greater flexibility, support, and a review of affordability calculations and criteria due to the rise in cost of living.”

Net Promoter Score

The Net Promoter Score is always keenly anticipated by those in the industry as it is a reflection of how likely brokers are to recommend a lender. It is essentially a measure of loyalty. The average score for all lenders within the benchmark decreased by 0.3 to +26.8. The peak Net Promoter Score for all lenders was recorded at the start of 2020 at 30.8.

Specialist lender performance improved

Specialist lenders once again outperformed other lenders in terms of their Net Promoter Score registering an increase of 13.5 from H2 2021, and up 29.3 points on 12 months ago.

However, lifetime lenders recorded a drop of 8.6 to their NPS of +15.8, the lowest recorded figure for the sector aside from during the height of the pandemic in H2 2020.

Now in its eighth edition, the Mortgage Lender Benchmark report features feedback from over 650 brokers on 99 lenders, with a detailed analysis on 50 lenders across banks, building societies, specialist lenders and lifetime providers, as well as their thoughts on the mortgage market in general.

Along with asking brokers to rate lenders on different aspects of their proposition, Smart Money People analyses the comments that brokers provide when asked what they like or what could be improved for each lender. These are mapped across 20 themes to give a rich insight into how each lender is performing. These are shared with subscribers to the report.