Evaluate Technologies has reported that First Direct turned out to be the most systematically competitive mortgage provider during the first three months of 2010.

According to the results Evaluate Technologies' analysis, First Direct got a score of 19, slightly outstripping its competitors including Post Office (18) and Alliance & Leicester (15).

Nevertheless, five of the best ten mortgage providers came from only two groups with First Direct and HSBC at number one and joint seventh whereas Santander, Alliance & Leicester and Abbey for Intermediaries came in at third, sixth and joint seventh.

Thus, the analysis is great news for the broker market since Alliance & Leicester and Abbey for Intermediaries are the lenders which perform their transactions through brokers, which suggests that the industry has access to many of the top bargains.

However, the results of this analysis were not inspiring for the Government-supported mortgage providers. During the first quarter of 2010, NatWest offered only three best deals while Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock managed one each. Bank of China, which only launched in the UK in the summer of 2009, offered two best buys. The Lloyds Banking Group brands offered no best buys.

Jim Barrowman from Evaluate Technologies commented that it was great to see the most competitive lenders list changed, with no company dominating consistently.

Still, when it comes to the best deals, HSBC/First Direct and the Santander groups of lenders are the obvious leaders. It is heartening to see Yorkshire Building Society doing fine and Principality retaining its place.

Moreover, the best deals list also includes Bank of China and such regional building societies as Leek and Melton. However, it is frustrating to see the absence of Lloyds Banking Group in the list. More competition in the mortgage market is extremely important for continued recovery during the current year and means a return to growth in the market.


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