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SPML confident of comeback in sub-prime market

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  • 01/10/1999
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SPML is still "progressing on a number of fronts" to secure funding lines, despite plans for an Octo...

SPML is still “progressing on a number of fronts” to secure funding lines, despite plans for an October comeback, writes Robyn Hall

Last month the lender was adamant it would rejoin the fray of sub-prime activity following extensive discussions with several potential investors

Bill Cherry, SPML’s managing director, had even travelled to the US to try to negotiate funding lines from overseas. At the time, Stuart Aitken, director of credit, said: “We are still working towards resuming lending in early October. We are willing to talk to anyone and have already spoken to a large number of firms

However, SPML appears to have drawn a blank and commentators say the firm has little hope of resuming lending before January 2000

Aitken declined the opportunity to comment on what he labelled “competitor speculation” about the firm’s future in the sub-prime sector. However, he did say that creating consumer brand awareness was not necessary for SPML and was of no relevance to any discussions with potential investors

He said: “Consumer brand awareness is no doubt important to lenders such as The Money Store, which have tried to sell direct to the public. However, the company’s virtual withdrawal from direct consumer sales calls into question the existence of a viable direct consumer market in the sub-prime sector, at least for the time being

Aitken added that finding investors for SPML was an entirely separate matter from selling or securitising its mortgage assets

Following a management buyout earlier this year, SPML suddenly announced that it was temporarily suspending new mortgage lending after Barclays withdrew funding

Paul Robinson, managing director of Solent Mortgage Services, an ex-packager of SPML, said: “We would have expected to hear from them by now ­ as yet we’ve heard nothing

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