Principality has been rated the UK’s best mortgage lender in this year’s Which? customer satisfaction survey, with an impressive 97% of its customers saying they were satisfied with their mortgage.
In fact, building societies lead the way in this year’s set of mortgage lender reviews, with only one of the four Which? Recommended Providers being a bank.
Below, we reveal how high street mortgage lenders and smaller providers alike fared when we put them to the test.
Mortgage lenders reviewed: who is best and worst?
We surveyed more than 3,500 homeowners in June 2018 to find out how they rated their mortgage lender on factors such as customer service, the mortgage application process, value for money and online access.
We combined survey respondents’ satisfaction and likelihood to recommend their provider to calculate a customer score. Principality (80%), First Direct (77%), Nationwide (77%) and Skipton Building Society (73%) were all named Which? Recommended Providers based on a combination of their excellent customer scores and the competitive deals they offer.
The full set of scores for 23 of the UK’s biggest lenders are detailed in the table. Click the links to find out more about how each provider performed, and the types and sizes of mortgages they offer.
|1||Principality (Which? Recommended Provider)||80%|
|=2||First Direct (Which? Recommended Provider)||77%|
|=2||Nationwide (Which? Recommended Provider)||77%|
|5||Coventry Building Society||75%|
|6||Skipton (Which? Recommended Provider)||73%|
|7||Chelsea Building Society||72%|
|=8||Yorkshire Building Society||71%|
|=10||Leeds Building Society||70%|
|=20||Royal Bank of Scotland||62%|
- Find out more: our best mortgage lenders review reveals star ratings for the different aspects of each provider’s service, from value for money to online access.
How we choose Which? Recommended Providers
To become a Which? Recommended Provider (WRP), a mortgage lender must have achieved a top customer score in a Which? customer satisfaction survey, be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and meet requirements set by the Financial Conduct Authority.
A lender must also consistently offer top mortgage deals across various types of mortgages to become a Which? Recommended Provider.
Our experts analysed thousands of mortgages over a four-week period in June and July 2018, compiling 108 tables of the top-10 cheapest deals based on a variety of borrowing scenarios and counting how many times each lender featured in a table. Only those who featured at least eight times in home-mover or switching deal tables qualified for WRP status.
What customers say about the best mortgage lenders
Principality Building Society received a five-star rating for flexibility of payments on its mortgages, and a whopping 97% of customers surveyed told us they were satisfied with their mortgage.
One customer told us that ‘The information about my mortgage is easy to understand’, while another said ‘They’re easy to deal with’.
Meanwhile, a quarter of First Direct customers said they chose the bank for their mortgage due to the headline interest rate, reflecting analysis by Which? finding that First Direct offers more cheap mortgages than the average lender.
First Direct was also one of only three lenders in the Which? survey to receive a five-star rating for customer service, along with Coventry Building Society and Chelsea Building Society.
Nationwide also performed well with its customers, with a quarter saying the building society’s reputation was the reason why they chose Nationwide as their mortgage provider. Six in 10 of its customers who hadn’t switched or remortgaged in over five years told us it was because they were happy with their current mortgage.
Another building society rated highly by its customers was Skipton, being only one of four lenders in our survey to receive a five-star rating for the clarity of its mortgage statements.
One of our respondents who had a mortgage with Skipton said, ‘They’re quick and efficient, and always give me great rates.’
- Find out more: how to find the best mortgage deals
How to find the best mortgage lender for you
Mortgage providers differ on who they will lend to, how much they’ll lend and the types of properties they’ll lend on.
The best mortgage provider for you will depend on a wide range of factors, from your credit history and size of deposit to your employment status, and while our reviews give a helpful indicator of providers’ overall performance, they might not reflect the right answer for your situation.
You can find out more in our guide on how to choose a mortgage broker.