Networking in Surrey

Tighter mortgage criteria has led to an increased number of consumer complaints about mortgage products, according to a report by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

The trade body, using data from the Financial Ombudsman Service's (FOS) annual review, said that a 'significant proportion' of complaints were caused by providers changing their lending criteria due to difficult market conditions.

FOS reported that 9537 complaints were received about mortgage lenders, up 4% on last year's figures.

There was an increase in complaints from customers who were unhappy with their lender's range of mortgages, with consumers also disappointed with the explanations provided by lenders when applications were turned down.

The FOS received an increased number of complaints about the reduction of upper age limits on some products, with older borrowers also frustrated by an increased requirement to provide details of their income in retirement.

Complaints from buy-to-let investors also grew, with customers unhappy with higher product rates and administrative charges.

The number of issues raised to the ombudsman regarding new loans also increased, with more borrowers complaining about being unable to get a mortgage with the loan-to-value ratio requested.

Elsewhere, complaints received from people trying to switch mortgages between properties fell but the ombudsman highlighted the need for lenders to provide more information to customers having their homes repossessed.

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