Which? – the best mortgage lenders

Consumer champion Which? regularly looks at all manner of consumables and service provisions from kitchen gadgets to cars, from insurance services to fuel providers, and includes a regular review of the lending companies that offer mortgage products.

Choosing the right mortgage lender for your pocket

One of the most stressful times of someone’s life has been identified as the process of moving house. Notwithstanding the bureaucracy to get the place you want, there is quite a pressure in finding the finance you need to pay for it. 

This includes the initial deposit, and the laying bare of general expenditure to see if you can keep up with the monthly payments without putting home-ownership in jeopardy.

And that requires choosing from the myriad and bewildering mortgage deals available on the market. This is particularly important as mortgage rates are the highest they’ve been for over a decade.

Knowing which of the many lenders is best for your needs, and whether they will provide the best financial service for financial needs, is daunting enough without everything else that is going on as you prepare to move into your new house.

It comes down to knowing the product you’ve been sold gives you the assurance that it’s the best value for money on the market currently. You should also look into the terms and conditions to see how easy it will be to upgrade to a different, more financially beneficial mortgage product in the future.

This is why organisations such as Which? are so useful in narrowing down the options, so you can have that level of assurance that you’re getting the best product.

The best – and worst – mortgage lenders

In October 2023, Which? took customer feedback for mortgage lenders and their analysis of the deals that each of the lenders offer to come up with the list of the best and worst mortgage lenders for 2023.

To ensure a statistically significant result, Which? filtered responses from more than 3,400 mortgage borrowers and sifted through several thousands of mortgage products from a pool of 22 lenders to ascertain where each of them fell on the table.

The respondents to the survey provided their thoughts on a wide variety of aspects that covered:

  • customer service
  • value for money
  • ability to overpay or underpay the mortgage
  • clarity of mortgage statements
  • online access
  • transparency of charges and/or penalties

The full results were:

Rank

Mortgage lender

Customer score

1

Nationwide Building Society

78%

1

Skipton Building Society

78%

3

Yorkshire Building Society

75%

4

Accord Mortgages

72%

5

Santander

71%

5

TSB

71%

7

Coventry Building Society

70%

7

NatWest

70%

9

Leeds Building Society

69%

10

Lloyds Bank

68%

11

First Direct

67%

12

Barclays Mortgage

65%

12

HSBC

65%

14

Halifax

64%

14

Royal Bank of Scotland

64%

16

Clydesdale Bank

63%

17

Virgin Money

60%

18

Aldermore

58%

19

Family Building Society

55%

20

Kensington

54%

20

Metrobank

54%

20

The Co-operative

54%

Source: Which?

You can find out more detail here as to how the individual mortgage lenders fared in the overall Which? analysis.

Ele Clark, senior money editor at Which?, said: 

“With mortgage rates at some of their highest levels for 15 years and alarming numbers of homeowners struggling to meet their monthly payments, customer service is more important than ever.

“Our research has found that some of the UK’s biggest building societies lead the way when it comes to quality service, with greater transparency over charges and - crucially - flexibility when making payments.

“The Financial Conduct Authority has now set higher standards in its Consumer Duty, raising the bar for customer service - and firms that fail to meet that bar should expect to face tough consequences from the regulator.”

The best for your pocket

What this detailed research showed was that, more than ever, what prospective borrowers consider to be the most important facets of a lender is all to do with how they are treated and the value they are ultimately getting for their financial outlay. 

You want to know that what you’re investing when buying your new home works the very best for your needs without being constrained unnecessarily when it comes to repayments.

For the money-conscious home-mover, particularly in these financially-straitened times, having this information to hand is so useful in making the right decision before embarking fully on the road to buying a new property.