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Principality tops Which? survey of best mortgage lenders

A Which? customer satisfaction survey has revealed the best mortgage lenders, with building societies coming front of the pack.

Principality came top of the survey for providing the best mortgages, with First Direct and Nationwide coming in joint second. As a result, they are now all Which? Recommended Providers.

The survey of more than 3500 mortgage customers looked at customer service, the mortgage application process and value for money to determine which mortgage lenders are going above and beyond to deliver a stellar experience for their clients. 

Principality achieved an impressive customer score of 80%, with nine in 10 customers saying they did not experience any problems with their mortgage. The building society gains five stars for flexibility of payments on its mortgage, and nearly all (97%) customers told us they were satisfied with their mortgage.

First Direct and Nationwide both scored 77% to come in joint second. Virgin Money came fourth with a score of 76%, Coventry claimed fifth place with 75% and Skipton received a score of 73% to come sixth.

Full table of results

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Kensington came at the bottom of this year’s table, with a customer score of just 56%. The lender received two stars on value for money and we found that two-thirds of customers we heard from were paying the standard variable rate on their mortgage. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that Kensington specialises in lending to people with bad credit ratings or complex circumstances, so its rates are higher due to the increased level of risk it takes on. 

Accord Mortgages, the intermediary-only arm of the YBS group, gave a disappointing performance, with second-worst customer score of 61%. We found that one in seven of the customers we heard from were dissatisfied with their mortgage.

Julie-Ann Haines, Chief Customer Officer at Principality Building Society, said:

“We are very proud to be recognised by consumers and experts such as Which? magazine as the best mortgage lender in the UK for customer satisfaction.

“We have made some significant improvements over the past two years that have improved the experience to our members.  It is much quicker for customers to complete their mortgage applications thanks to simplifying processes, while we have also made investments to improve our online service to complement the amazing personal and tailored service our branch and telephone colleagues provide. It would be impossible to achieve such recognition without the fantastic work of all our colleagues who look after the best interests of our Members every day.”

Gareth Shaw, Which? Money Expert, said:

“Choosing the right mortgage for you will probably be one of the biggest financial decisions you ever make.

“It’s essential that you pick the right provider for your specific needs and these Which? Recommended Providers are all highly rated by their customers for quality of service and value for money.”