Fleet Mortgages CEO Bob Young admitted it had taken longer than he had hoped to finalise the new line but was positive that a deal would be completed with at least one funding house.
However, Young acknowledged that capital markets were “tightening” and in an exclusive article for Mortgage Solutions, suggested setting up a new specialist lender would not be advisable in the present economic environment.
The lender outlined to attendees at its strategic partners conference this week its progress and next steps.
“The group [is] comprised of some of the biggest investment houses and banks in the world – one of which is at a highly-progressed stage with our lawyers reviewing the detail,” said Young.
‘Thank you products’
Young told Mortgage Solutions that he “genuinely thought the lender would be back online by the end of January” as discussions had started with a new funder at the end of December.
However, he added that one positive from the situation was it had given other funders the chance to come in with different offers and allow additional product flexibility for Fleet.
“We will be back as quickly as we can but I’d rather we come back right,” he said.
“We can be back very quickly, but it wouldn’t be as flexible and may not have retention products or other options.
“Our ambition is to come back with products that are more or less a thank you to our supporters for sticking with us,” he added.
Young also revealed that the lender had had very little notice about the funding being withdrawn and so had little option but to stop lending immediately.
“They got put into a position there was no way they could have expected, it was nothing personal or malicious,” he said.
“We would’ve preferred to do it slowly if we had notice, but given the circumstances we handled it the best we could – openly, upfront and honestly.”
He added that with Amicus and Secure Trust Bank withdrawing at the same time the “timing was awful”.
However, Young noted that Fleet had received support from its key distribution partners who were keen for it to return as soon as it was ready.
Secure right funding
While positive about completing the deal, Young recognised that it could sometimes take longer than expected to finish the legal work.
“Given the highly competitive nature of these different funding offerings however, and the fact that once the lawyers are involved things tend to take a little longer to progress than initially anticipated, it has meant a delay to the new product range while we explore all these options,” he continued.
“Stakeholders will understand that it’s very important to talk to all potential funders because the terms on offer from each one are different and could be more advantageous to what Fleet Mortgages wants to deliver to market.
“That being the case, we are continuing to pursue these talks and discussions in order to ensure we secure the right funding for the business, and we anticipate that as soon as these terms are agreed, we’ll be quickly delivering a highly-competitive buy-to-let product range to market.”