Leeds Building Society, which has a branch in Doncaster, has been crowned ‘Innovator of the Year’ at the Moneywise Magazine Mortgage Awards 2014 for its Welcome Mortgage, which allows borrowers to pay 0% interest for the first few months of their term so they can free up cash to help them settle into their new home.
This is the Society’s third innovation award so far this year, after scooping the ‘Mortgage Innovation Award’ and being named ‘Most Innovative Personal Finance Provider’ at the Moneynet Personal Finance Awards 2014.
The criteria for the Moneywise Mortgage Awards use data from best-buy tables from the past 12 months, with shortlists drawn up for each category based on the providers that consistently offer the most competitive rates. These shortlists are then passed to a panel of four judges, who select their winners and runners-up in each category based not only on the rate but also on fees, penalties, lending flexibility, service standards and the treatment of existing and new customers.
In a year that has seen a raft of new mortgage deals hit the market to encourage more people to buy, sell and switch to better deals, the judges voted Leeds Building Society as mortgage innovator of 2014.
One of the judges was Andrew Montlake from Coreco, who said: “Leeds has tried really hard to push the envelope this year and some of its products have been very enticing. Trying something different in this market is to be applauded and it is fast becoming an important lender in the market.”
Another judge, David Hollingworth from London & County Mortgages, said: “The Welcome Mortgage was a real departure in a market starved of innovation and demonstrated that Leeds was prepared to think differently.”
Fellow judge Ray Boulger, from John Charcol, described the Society’s Welcome Mortgage as a “genuinely innovative product”.
Melissa Foulis (pictured), Leeds Building Society Doncaster Branch Manager said, “This is another great accolade for the Society, and we’ve gained a hat-trick of prestigious awards for our innovation so far in 2014.
“Although borrowers pay off the capital on our Welcome Mortgage from the start, paying no interest for the first three or six months of their term can come in handy.”