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BTL dominates Platform’s £250m gross mortgage lending

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  • 25/08/2011
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BTL dominates Platform’s £250m gross mortgage lending
Platform advanced gross mortgage lending of £250m in the first half of 2011, with more than half directed towards buy-to-let loans as it aims to be a "major player" in the sector.

The interim results of Platform’s parent company, Co-operative Financial Services (CFS), said that Platform had focused on quality mortgage lending, with strong margins being achieved.

CFS did not publish interim results for 2010, so year-on-year comparisons are not available.

However, for the whole of 2010, Platform reported gross mortgage lending of £600m. The majority was made in the first six months of 2010, a spokesman said, owing to the relocation of its mortgage processing division.

The spokesman said that Platform’s repositioning around buy to let had resulted in less lending in H1, but confirmed that more than half of its gross mortgage lending for the period was buy to let.

This was a complete change to 2010 when the lender did “very little” lending in the sector, he said.

Platform plans to increase its gross mortgage lending in the second half of 2011 and expects to end the year around the same total of £600m as 2010.

The spokesman said: “We have done considerably more buy-to-let lending this year than last and that trend will continue in the second half of the year.

“We feel we can be a major player in buy-to-let, as there are clearly opportunities.”

CFS reported that its Optimum portfolio, a closed book of mortgages made up of acquired and pre-2009 intermediary business, was performing well, with a gradual reduction in size and improvement in arrears.

It said arrears of greater than 2.5% of the loan balance had dropped by more than a fifth.

As a whole, CFS reported a 20% increase in operating profit in H1 to £131m, with a £90m provision made for payment protection insurance mis-selling.

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