In his first media interview, exclusively with Mortgage Solutions, Miguel Sard, managing director of Abbey for Intermediaries (pictured), said that the lender’s long-term goal is to distribute products including credit cards, unsecured personal loans and current accounts through advisers.
He said: “It is in the early stages and we are not launching tomorrow, but we are thinking of distributing our core retail products, such as current accounts, unsecured personal loans and credit cards, through intermediaries.
“We want to support the broader business relationship with customers and brokers.”
Sard said that Abbey would be working on the proposal over the next 12 months, but no timeframe for launch has been set.
In addition, he confirmed that Abbey will enter the buy-to-let market in the near future, with products distributed exclusively through brokers at launch and a focus on non-professional landlords.
However, Sard would not be drawn on when the lender plans to launch into buy to let, but said he hoped it would be within 2012.
Sard said: “Buy to let is a very good opportunity for us, but we are not there yet. We want to have the same service in buy to let as we do in residential mortgages.
“We don’t have any timeframe for launch, although we want it to be sooner rather than later. Once we have the training, processes and products in place, we will launch.”
In addition, he denied recent reports suggesting Abbey has delayed its launch into buy to let.
Sard said: “There has not been a delay to our buy-to-let launch, because there has never been a deadline or final launch date.
“It is not an easy process and it takes time. We have to review our processes and make sure not to make mistakes. We are very concerned with jeopardising the position we have in the market and we will only launch when we are ready.”
Abbey for Intermediaries confirmed that its buy-to-let business will be headed up by its director of mortgage products, Phil Cliff.