Q&A with Yorkshire Bank, Best Regional Lender 2015-2016
Q: How do you feel about winning this Your Mortgage Award?
A: We are delighted to have won the Best Regional Lender Award at Yorkshire Bank
Q: What have you done in the last 12 months that has put you head and shoulders above the competition in this sector?
A: We’ve launched our lowest ever remortgage rates, as well as a range of mortgages with £1000 cash back. Our first time buyer mortgages are as popular as ever. Yorkshire Bank – together with our sister organisation Clydesdale Bank – have consistently offered 95% LTV mortgages allowing first time buyers to get a foot on the all-important property ladder at a time when many other lenders had pulled out of the market. The customer underpins everything we do and customer choice is important to us. This is why we offer the choice between products with and without a fee. Along with these products we offer a dedicated named mortgage adviser across our communities.
Q: How do you ensure that your mortgage products and service are ahead of the game?
A: There are a number of ways we ensure we do that. We consistently review the market to ensure we remain competitive and offer the best deal we possibly can. We also monitor mortgage activity both here and abroad to gain insight into product development and innovation which helps us bring new ideas to market. Most importantly, however, is that we carry out research with our customers and non-customers alike. This provides us with valuable insight in both our products and services and allows us to keep the customer at the heart of everything we do.
Q: What would you say is your USP in the mortgage market?
A: Being close to our customers is at the heart of everything we do. For us this means always understanding how to better serve the people who live here. We care about here and this theme underpins all our products, including mortgages and how we support our customers as well as the communities in which we live.
Q: You increasingly need to offer customers choice when it comes to delivery channel – what have you done to develop your delivery channels?
A: We provide customers with a choice of channels. Customers can apply for a mortgage in person in one of our local branches or over the phone. Customers can also use our online live chat service to talk to qualified advisers, as well as an online enquiry service. This year we’ve invested in some big improvements to help us offer an even better service to our customers and means we now send email and text updates to customers, allowing them to be fully informed on the progress of their application at every stage.
Q: Increased regulation has brought extra pressure to bear on the mortgage market in recent years – how have you as a lender responded to that challenge?
A: Our mortgage application process is and has always been based on a genuine affordability assessment, so changes have had minimal impact on our customers. We listen to our customers and work with the regulators to ensure that we are provide the best mortgage to suit each individual customer’s needs.
Q: Bank Base Rate remains at a record low and mortgage rates are increasingly competitive – how has this impacted the price of your mortgages over the last 12 months.
A: Mortgage pricing has been extremely competitive over the last 12 months which has, in turn, allowed us to offer some of our lowest ever mortgage rates which is great news for customers.
Q: The difficult environment we have experienced since 2008 has stifled innovation in the mortgage market to a degree – is innovation returning now and what new ideas have you brought to the market?
A: The environment didn’t stop innovation but it did change the way lenders could innovate. Over the past years we launched a number of new products including Low Start mortgages, fee offers and cashbacks. Our first time buyer mortgages are continually improved. We continue to put our customers first and at the heart of what we do. We’re still innovating with lots of new ideas in the pipeline.