Newest Review: ... of options. There approval was quick as was there valuation and the only two terms to come back where that we must have insurance in ... more
avoid for mortgages - slow, incompetent, stressful
Abbey National in general
Member Name: wilstone
Abbey National in general
Advantages: good rate, suppose you could be lucky and sail through with no problems.
Disadvantages: they lie. they are slow. getting information from them is like getting blood from a stone.
Below letter of complaint says it all:
Dear Sir / Madam,
I am writing to complain about my recent mortgage application process with Abbey.
Prior to applying, I went to pains to stress to the mortgage advisor the tight timescales I was working towards in my prospective house purchase. I was assured that, while nothing could be guaranteed, the vast majority of applications (if successful) would proceed to valuation within 1-2 working days. As our application was relatively straightforward, the advisor was confident in assuring us that I should get a very quick answer.
In the end, we waited 3-4 weeks, ultimately to be rejected. I will come on to my thoughts on the rejection in a moment, but first of all I wanted to stress how overly bureaucratic the application process is from the perspective of a potential customer. Over a period of 3 weeks the underwriter (via the administrative staff) got back to me 4 times to ask for further documentation to support our application. All of these were unrelated requests, and could have been dealt with all at once had the underwriter taken a look at our application as a whole after we initially submitted. What was particularly annoying was that each time we were asked to submit extra information, we essentially went to the back of the queue - having to wait 2 working days for the document(s) even to be picked up by the administrative staff, then (at least) another working day or two for the underwriter to take a look.
Ultimately, my application was rejected because Abbey were apparently "unhappy with the purchase scenario". I was told that this meant that the underwriter was unhappy with my wife living in the property, but with the mortgage just being in my name, as this would apparently leave Abbey with less security on knowing that they could reclaim the property in future. This was a strange reason for rejection for 2 reasons. Firstly, as my wife, who is American, does not yet have permanent right to remain in the UK and so was not permitted to be named on the mortgage (if she had been, we would have been more than happy to complete a joint application). Secondly, and more importantly, this shows a complete lack of knowledge of property law - as any half-competent underwriter should be aware, the interest of the mortgagee (i.e. Abbey) comes before any derived interest following from myself. So, in plain English, if my wife and I were ever to separate in future and she did have a claim for a share in the property, Abbey's interest would come first. This is also ignoring the fact that my wife would have signed (as per standard practice in these matters) a form stating that she had no interest in the property.
Our independent legal advice informed us that, and I quote, "Abbey clearly don't know their own business". This leads me to believe that the rejection was not for the reasons stated, but because Abbey were no longer happy to offer the rate that had been reserved for us (a week or so after our application, this was removed from the market). Obviously it is your right to reject anyone who applies and for any reason, but this has left a very bad taste. The fact that it took 3-4 weeks to get a rejection has ultimately led us to miss a number of deadlines for the property purchase. We are now faced with losing the property - though Nationwide have been very helpful so far in our application with them as regards trying to speed things along (e.g. valuation within 2 days rather than 1 month).
I could write a separate lengthy complaint on my experiences over the last year with my Santander current account (and in particular on your terrible customer service), but I will now take the only option available to me and will be closing my account as soon as possible. I do not wish to have any dealings with the Abbey/Santander brand, and will be avoiding your products from now on. I do not expect to achieve much by this letter of complaint, but while it may be a drop in the ocean, I wanted to let you know the reasons for you losing another customer, and an idea of why Santander is gaining a reputation for incompetence.
Summary: a gigantic waste of time that may have cost us our house
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