CHL chief executive Bob Andrews said the lender plans to focus on portfolio acquisition and servicing third-party debt and was forced to “wind down” the commercial team.
“We spent a lot of time deliberating on strategic options for the new lender and overall strategy but in the end we have been forced to delay the relaunch for the immediate future,” he said.
Both former-commercial director Richard Tugwell and ex-head of national accounts John Truswell exited the Fleet-based lender in the last few weeks and were unavailable to comment.
Former Virgin Money director of intermediaries Richard Tugwell’s role with CHL was confirmed in July 2016 as commercial director ahead of the planned but subsequently delayed summer proposition launch. He was joined at CHL shortly afterwards by John Truswell, also ex-Virgin Money, as head of national accounts.
Asked about timings for relaunch, Andrews added: “There are so many competing factors to consider and a number of reasons for delaying. We have other priorities to focus on right now, but will maintain good resource and continue to manage our existing portfolios.”
The fortunes of the resurrected CHL brand have been beset by the uncertainty caused by the EU referendum and subsequent Brexit vote. US private equity group Cerberus Capital Management bought the last tranche of CHL’s buy-to-let mortgage book worth £2.5bn at a discount from Northern Irish-based bank Permanent TSB in October 2016. It had bought the first half, again worth £2.5bn, in March 2015.
With the first transaction Cerberus also bought the CHL entity, preparing the way for a relaunch back to market as an intermediary-only buy-to-let lender.