The new lender specialises in bridging, buy to let and development finance.
Simon Knight, former chief executive of GMAC-RFC and, broker John Charcol is heading up Lendco after joining the group in February.
He told Mortgage Solutions the group analysed where the gaps in the market were before deciding to launch a specialist lender.
Lendco is “targeting property professionals with experience and track record – underwriting the individual as well as the asset”, Knight said.
He added: “We’re able to bring experience of looking at deal in the round and making a fast decision.”
Business levels in the couple of months since launch have “exceeded expectations” but Knight declined to detail lending numbers.
There is now a “growth plan” in place for the lender, with distribution set to expand to select brokers after “strong interest” from introducers.
Knight said: “Our plan was not to go to mass market – it’s a small tight distribution, specialising in assessing property each case on its own merit.”
Lendco has a small team of less than 10 people but with a broad background and skill-set.
Knight plans to recruit more underwriters and staff this year and into 2019.
SPF to use Lendco ‘when suitable’
The new lender comes after private equity investor Cabot Square Capital bought a majority shareholding in SPF earlier this year.
SPF chief executive Mark Harris (pictured) said the extra funding provided the opportunity to further diversify the company, which also has a wealth management and general insurance arm.
He added that the new lender “complements the SPF broking business”.
Harris sought to ward off concerns over conflict of interest and said Lendco is just one of the providers SPF brokers use “when it’s suitable – no different to the others”.
He added: “We’re excited – it gives us another lender – and potentially other intermediaries another lender.”
SPF is still actively considering other avenues of diversification, such as group acquisitions.
Lendco is just “one string to the group’s bow”, which makes the company more robust, Harris said.
He added: “I always felt more comfortable where there’s several strings to a company’s bow.
“Having a lender is exciting and the investors at Cabot Square have been hugely supportive.”