Throughout 2020, Barclays has been quick to react to any and all challenges with the introduction of a number of enhancements to ensure we fully support our UK customers and broker partners through the COVID pandemic.
To help the continuation of applications during the initial lockdown period, we introduced desktop valuations – available for both Residential and Buy to Let applications – and to support when face to face meetings were not possible, we confirmed a change to our process to permit solicitors to provide ILA to individuals by either telephone or video conference, where it would ordinarily be provided ‘face-to-face’ in the solicitors’ offices.
In addition, we created and launched a new attestation form for brokers to use when they are unable to obtain a signature from a client in the following scenarios…
- Completing a mortgage declaration
- Completing an Interest only declaration
- Completing a debt consolidation/commitment to repay debt declaration
In June, we re-defined our entire distribution model so our BDM’s work much closer to their local areas, providing greater support to brokers. We also significantly boosted the number of colleagues available to support brokers through our online Livechat service so intermediaries can quickly and easily get the answers they need without having to wait on the telephone.
More recently, we have enhanced our underwriting process so in addition to our underwriters sending emails directly to brokers, they will also send the same email to a nominated member of their administration staff allowing them to quickly pick up any case actions in the absence of the broker. We’ve also further lessened our documentation requirements for customers by focusing on reduced paperwork for BTL and Self-employed applicants.
Throughout the year, our family springboard mortgage has continued to support First Time Buyers in their challenge to take the first step on the housing ladder by allowing family and friends help them get a mortgage with as little as 0% deposit and our Barclays Green Home Mortgage products have continued to reward customers for purchasing an energy efficient home.
We’re still supported by over 600 mortgage advisers and 20,000 Intermediary relationships who distribute our marketing leading propositions. Our servicing team is backed by over 800 operations colleagues and 500 contact centre colleagues.
Looking beyond applications, to help brokers make sense of these extraordinary times, In September we launched our new Mortgage Insider podcast where we’ve been able to interview key industry players, both from inside Barclays and out, to connect with the broker community during this time of crisis. Crucially, the campaign has helped us to demonstrate our readiness to listen to – and address – brokers’ concerns while boosting engagement.
We’ve developed the business at the same time as continuing to build the diversity of the team by continuing to build a workplace environment that supports and empowers women to succeed, such as continuing to build a pipeline of next-generation leaders and highlight female talent through our Women in Technology group. We’ve also been a headline sponsor of Pride in London since 2014 and this year extended its support to 21 events across the UK.
Our aspiration is to be the #1 lender of choice and our record of delivery in 2020 is testament to that ambition