The best UK mortgage lenders
The biggest, the best and the fastest mortgage lenders. We review the UK's top mortgage lenders.
Who is the best mortgage lender?
It’s tricky to determine the best mortgage lender as there are so many factors to consider, such as:
customer satisfaction and number of complaints
how fast they are approving applications
how much they’ll lend
the variety of mortgages they offer
There are many different lenders catering to different types of buyers and offering a variety of different products, so what might be the ‘best’ for one buyer might not be the best for you.
How many mortgage lenders are there?
There are around 100 mortgage lenders in the UK. These are mainly banks and building societies.
Major lenders include 'The Big Six’. These are
Lloyds (including Halifax)
Natwest (including RBS)
Together these 6 lenders account for most of the mortgage lending in the UK.¹
Specialist lenders like Kent Reliance and Fleet are examples of specialist lenders. This means they focus on mortgages for certain types of customers, like buy-to-let landlords.
If you have a history of bad credit, you may need to get a mortgage from a specialist lender.
There are also lenders such as Virgin Money, Metro Bank, Clydesdale and Accord. They offer similar mortgages to the Big Six but are a bit smaller as firms.
Who are the biggest mortgage lenders?
According to the latest data from UK Finance, these are the top 6 largest lenders in the UK²:
The Lloyds Banking Group (includes Halifax) - £55.9 billion
NatWest Group (includes RBS) - £36.1 billion
Nationwide Building Society - £35.4 billion
Santander UK - £33.2 billion
Barclays - £33 billion
HSBC - £27.3 billion
UK Finance ranks lenders based on their market share. This means that the lenders listed here provided the most mortgages in 2021.
The largest lenders are those that have lent the most.
Should I choose a high-street mortgage lender?
Choosing a lender should depend on whether they’re the right choice for you and your situation.
Larger lenders do tend to offer a wider range of products and deals but you may find that other smaller lenders can offer something better suited to you.
If you have a more complicated case, like bad credit, you might need to go to a specialist lender for the best deal.
Speak to a mortgage adviser if you’re not sure which lender will suit you best.
Who is the fastest mortgage lender?
Based on our own data, in 2022, lenders take an average of around 34 days to approve new mortgage submissions.
Top 5 fastest lenders in 2022
Paragon Mortgages - 10 days
Halifax - 15 days
Post Office - 16 days
Scottish Widows Bank - 21 days
Leeds BS - 22 days
This data is based on how long it takes mortgage lenders to approve mortgages after we submit them.
Bear in mind that this is an average. Some mortgages will be approved faster, and some might take much longer.
Do not rule out specialist lenders who are best suited to your needs if you:
have bad credit
need a Help to Buy or Shared Ownership mortgage
Speak to a mortgage adviser if you’re not sure which lender is right for your situation.
Which mortgage lenders have the best reviews?
To decide the UK's best lenders, we compared how satisfied their customers are.
We looked at public complaints data to see how they performed between 2021 and 2022.
During this time the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had more than 48,000 complaints across the lenders we’ve focused on.²
Of these 48,000 complaints, around 61% were officially upheld.
An upheld complaint is when they investigate a complaint to confirm that something went wrong.
We’ve chosen to look at the upheld complaints rather than the number of complaints. This is a more accurate way to see the number of valid and confirmed customer complaints.
Best lenders with the lowest percentage of upheld complaints
Bank of Ireland
The Mortgage Works
Lenders with the highest percentage of upheld complaints
Coventry Building Society
Royal Bank of Scotland
Finding the best mortgage lender with Better
When finding you a mortgage, we'll always search the market for the most suitable deal for your situation.
So whether you are self-employed, have adverse credit or are looking for a buy-to-let mortgage, we can help steer you in the right direction.
You can also have a look at our range of lender guides that look at lenders individually so that you can get a better idea of what each lender is like.
What people are saying about Better.co.uk...
Get a mortgage with Better.co.uk today
Important info & marketing claims
You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage. Your savings will depend on personal circumstances.
Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.
*The savings figure of £506 is based on Better.co.uk remortgage customers in December 2023. Read more on our marketing claims page.
We can't always guarantee we will be able to help you with your mortgage application depending on your credit history and circumstances.
Average mortgage decision and approval times are based on Better.co.uk's historic data for lenders we submit applications to.
Tracker rates are identified after comparing over 12,000 mortgage products from over 100 mortgage lenders.
As of January 2023, Better.co.uk has access to over 100 lenders. This number is subject to change.
For buy-to-let landlords, there's no guarantee that it will be possible to arrange continuous letting of a property, nor that rental income will be sufficient to meet the cost of the mortgage.