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28 Nov 2018

The Top 20 Mortgage Lenders of 2018

Finding the right mortgage isn't always easy, and when it comes to finding the right deal, it can be frustrating searching around. The truth is, there are so many different lenders on the market. If you are keen to go with a lender who boasts great customer satisfaction, it can be difficult trying to decide which the best one is. Luckily, MO is here to help. In our latest post, we’re looking into exactly who is the best mortgage lender on the market in 2018.

Sourcing customer feedback data from a Which? survey, we have determined the best lenders in the UK for customer satisfaction, voted by the customers themselves. In this post, we’ll be looking at the top 20 in the UK. Let’s begin.

Banks and Buildings

Banks vs. Building Societies

So, in this list you’re going to see various banks and building societies listed, but what is the difference? Well, it’s not much… Where banks are considered commercial establishments that not only handle mortgages but can also offer loans, credit cards and banking to customers. Building Societies solely concentrate on lending mortgages. Building societies are owned by members, where the profits are put back into the society, vs. banks where the profits are paid as dividends to shareholders, who own the bank. The goal of banks is to generate profits for shareholders vs. building societies who are not.

The Big Lenders

You know how the phrase goes: bigger is not always better… And the same goes for mortgage lenders. Some of the largest lenders in the UK aren’t actually at the top of Which?’s list. Sourcing data from August 2018, we found that the biggest lenders in the UK were:

  • Lloyds Banking Group (which includes both Lloyds Bank and Halifax)
  • Nationwide Building Society
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Santander UK
  • Barclays
  • HSBC Banks
  • Coventry Building Society
  • Virgin Money
  • Yorkshire Building Society
  • TSB Bank

Most mortgage decisions are made due to the rates you find and whether you believe a lender is suitable for you. But, it is not always the best decision to go for the well-known, largest lenders. The bigger lenders may be, well, bigger, but are their customers just as satisfied? This is how the Which? survey ranks UK lenders. Find out the top 20, below.

Top 20 Lenders of 2018*

The survey reviewed what customers rated their banks out of 5 in the following areas;

  • customer service
  • value for money
  • flexible payments
  • clarity of statements
  • online access

As well as an overall customer score (%). Which? base their rankings for mortgage lenders off their own customer satisfaction survey, as well as the mortgage deals offered for various product types. It also includes whether they are covered by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) and the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) banking standards regime.

The following is the top 20 banks and building societies that 3,572 people ranked in June 2018.

*Please note our rankings are based off of Which?’s survey and not reflective of Mortgages Online’s own opinions.

20. The Co-Operative Bank

This lender can be traced as far back as 1872, lending personal loans, mortgages and providing customers with current banking accounts, as well as credit cards and savings accounts too. The overall score: 62%

Which users gave the bank a 3 out of 5 for customer service, value for money and the clarity of statements. The bank scored a 4 for flexibility of payments but was given a score of 1 for online accessibility.

19. Clydesdale Bank

Based in Glasgow, this national bank has been established since 1838, supporting not only Scottish industries and communities, but British customers as well. Clydesdale Bank’s overall score was: 63%

Scoring mainly threes across the board for everything except for online access (where users scored them 2), Clydesdale Bank falls at number 19 on our list.

18. Yorkshire Bank

Founded in 1859, in Halifax in West Yorkshire, Yorkshire Bank is a trading name of Clydesdale Bank PLC. The bank’s overall score was: 65%

Scoring 3 out of 5 for customer service, value for money, the flexibility of payments, clarity of statements and online accessibility.

17. Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank, part of the Lloyds Baking Group, was founded back in 1765 by John Taylor and Sampson Lloyd (we know who picked the name then…) – starting as a private banking business in Birmingham. Which? users ranked their overall score as 66%

Again, Lloyds scored 3 out of 5 across all areas, similarly to Yorkshire Bank listed above.

15. Barclays & AA – Joint 15th

Barclays, the bank and AA, (yes, the automobile repair company, but they also offer financial services as part of their brand) are joint 15th, both of lenders have exactly the same score of 68%

Oddly, their individual scores differ. Barclays had most 4’s out of 5 for everything, aside from customer service where they had a 3 out of 5. AA had 3 out of 5 scores for customer service, the flexibility of payments and online accessibility – the other two areas were without a score.

10. TSB, Santander, NatWest, Leeds Building Society (LBS) & HSBC – Joint 10th

All of the banks and single building society, listed above have come in joint 10th, with an overall score of 70%

Below, you’ll find a table detailing the score of each mortgage lender in the different sections across Which?’s survey.


Customer Service

Value for Money

Flexible Payments

Clarity of Statements

Online Accessibility































8. Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) & Halifax – Joint 8th

The Yorkshire Building Society and Halifax are joint 8th, with an overall score of 71%

We’ll start with YBS. They achieved a 4 out of 5 scores for customer service, value for money and clarity of statements too, but scored 5 out of 5 for flexible payments and 2 for online accessibility. Whilst Halifax received 3 out of 5 across all sections.

7. Chelsea Building Society (CBS)

Working for over 150 years, the Chelsea Building Society aims to help improve people’s lives, valuing them as individuals. The building society’s score was: 72%

Scoring 5 out of 5 for both customer service and clarity of statements, along with a 3 for online accessibility. The other two sections had 4s scored against them.

6. Skipton Building Society (SBS)

The Skipton Building Society was founded back in 1853. The overall score of the mortgage provider was: 73%

For the clarity of their statements, SBS received a 5 out of 5 from Which? reviewers, whilst their online accessibility scored 3 out of 5. For all the other sections, they received a score of 4.

5. Coventry Building Society

With a total score of 75%, Coventry Building Society scored 5 out of 5 in customer service, flexible payments and clarity of statements too. Whilst scoring 4 for value for money and 3 for online accessibility.

4. Virgin Money

Part of the Virgin Group, Virgin Money offers mortgages for their customers across the UK. Which? the survey ranked them 4th, with an overall score of 76%

For customer service and online accessibility, Virgin Money scored 3 out of 5 whilst for the three other sections they scored 4 out of 5.

2. Nationwide & First Direct – Joint 2nd

We have two providers competing for the 2nd spot, Nationwide and First Direct. Both bank accounts scored: 77%

Nationwide scored 4 out of 5s in customer service, value for money and online accessibility. Whilst receiving 5 out of 5 for both flexible payments and clarity of statements.

First Direct scored 4 out of 5 for the value of money, clarity of statements and online accessibility, with 5 out of 5 scored for customer service and flexible payments.

1. Principality Building Society

Finally, at number 1 we have Principality Building Society. With over 150 years of experience and is ranked as the UK's 6th largest building society, it’s unsurprising that Which? survey respondents ranked this lender as the best mortgage provider, giving them an overall score of 80%

It was the highest ranked mortgage provider, scoring 5 out of 5 for flexible payments, along with a score of 4 for value for money. It was a mortgage provider that Which? users would recommend.

Whilst customers ranked these as the best lenders in the UK for customer service, it’s about finding the right mortgage deal for you.

Finding the right mortgage couldn't be simpler with MO. We compare 1000s of mortgage deals from over 130 lenders to find a mortgage deal that is right for you. These are ranked as the top UK mortgage lenders for customer service by customers on a Which? survey.


Laura Waller

Laura Waller has been working in the mortgages industry since 2013, joining an independent brokerage in Essex. Laura has CeMAP 2 & 3 – Certificates in Mortgages Advice and Practice. Since then Laura oversees marketing for Mortgages Online, using her experience and expertise to write articles and blogs about mortgages and related topics.

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