The lender, which is parent company to a range of brands including Kent Reliance and Interbay, revealed in its 2017 annual results it had begun this already.
“In March, we successfully piloted an entry to the bespoke bridging market, again leveraging the bank’s strengths in asset risk assessment and manual underwriting,” it said.
John Eastgate, director of sales and marketing at One Savings Bank, said that the bridging proposition has since been opened to the whole Interbay panel following the pilot.
“We’re very happy with the way that the pilot has gone, having tested our service propositions end to end,” said Eastgate.
He continued: “Rolling into bridging is a natural extension of our existing capabilities in the commercial and buy-to-let arms.
“It was a significant element enough to get a mentioned in the annual results, and it will be an important part of the bank’s future in 2018 and beyond.”
OSB also noted that professional landlords took a greater share of its business than in 2016 while residential lending dipped.
Professional/multi-property landlords accounted for 80% of completions by value, up from 75% in 2016, while it also saw significant growth in the commercial side of its buy-to-let and SME segment.
More than two-thirds (69%) of buy-to-let completions for Kent Reliance were conducted using a limited company.
And the changes to underwriting standards along with expectations of further interest rate rises caused a shift in the demand towards five-year fixed-rate products, which accounted for around 43% of buy-to-let completions.
Last week Specialist Lending Solutions revealed the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) is taking a keen interest in the popularity of five-year fixes with landlords.
The fallback in the residential business contributed to the first charge gross loan book reducing to £1,241m from £1,322m in 2016.
“However, we see opportunities for growth in the residential market in 2018 and beyond,” OSB added.
Rising cost of funds
Overall its annual results for 2017 showed a 21% increase in pre-tax profit to £167.7m, up from £138.2m in 2016.
It cited loan book growth of 23% to £7.3bn, up from £5.9bn, but did not confirm its gross mortgage lending volumes.
OSB reduced its three-month arrears to 1.2% from 1.4% and also warned of the rising cost of funds with the end of the government’s Term Funding Scheme (TFS).
One Savings Bank CEO Andy Golding, believed the lender had successfully negotiated significant regulatory and tax changes in its core buy-to-let market.
“Despite market sentiment linked to political and economic uncertainty going forward, we entered 2018 with a strong pipeline of new business in our core markets and intend to deploy our proven credit risk and operational competencies to expand our residential and commercial product offerings in 2018,” he said.
“We also expect to deliver net loan book growth in the mid-teens in 2018 and net interest margin of around 3%, reflecting current asset pricing and an expectation of a rising cost of funds after the end of TFS.