According an article in the Daily Mail this weekend, staff at the Abbey’s mortgage operation centre in Leeds reportedly doctored the salary details of customers in order to get their mortgage applications through the computerised system as quickly as possible in the run up to the credit crunch and property crash.  This kept sales ticking over through 2006 and 2007 and meant the staff received their bonuses.

This claim will be am embarrassment to the Spanish banking group Santander, which has alwasy maintained its pride on prudence throughout the property boom.

The discovery was made during an internal probe.  A spokesman for Abbey said they found sales practices that

‘did not meet their requirements’

He also added:

‘We reviewed all of the activities of all of the staff at the Leeds operation centre and took disciplinary action against two staff members for booking customers onto mortgage rates that had been withdrawn.’

Both employees have now left the bank and the Leeds operation centre has closed.  This information was brought to light by one of Abbey’s own senior underwriter’s through its internal whistle blowing system.

Mortgage advisors and sales staff, or anyone involved in the mortgage business, must be above reproach or they risk being unable to work in the mortgage industry again.  There is no doubt working in mortgages is a responsible position, as gaining mortgages that cannot be paid back or altering paperwork just to get a sale can lead to trouble not only for yourself and your employer but for the borrower too.

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