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Paragon takes £30m coronavirus hit as lending dips five per cent

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  • 10/06/2020
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Paragon takes £30m coronavirus hit as lending dips five per cent
Paragon Bank mortgage lending fell 4.9 per cent in the first six months of 2020 as the lender reduced its focus on amateur landlords while growing its specialist buy-to-let business.

 

Overall mortgage business was £792m for the six months ended 31 March, down by £41m compared to the same period last year.

Lending excluding professional landlords, at the bank fell to £98.2m from £140.8m a year earlier. At the same time, the bank wrote £694.6m of specialist landlord business, an increase of 1.5 per cent year on year.

Pre-tax profits for the period were reported at £57.1m, falling from £72m a year earlier, with the group booking £27.7m in additional charges relating to coronavirus.

Arrears on Paragon’s buy-to-let book in the six months were stable 0.16 per cent.

The lender’s mortgage pipeline at the end of the period stood at £789.8m with 93 per cent of this classed as specialist, professional buy-to-let activity.

 

Commercial and development lending

Paragon’s commercial lending division carried out £481.3m of lending, including £200m to UK SMEs through asset-based finance and £197.8m through the company’s development finance arm to small-to-medium sized residential property developers.

Richard Rowntree, Paragon managing director of mortgages (pictured), said: “We continued our focus on specialist buy-to-let business during the period, which is reflected in today’s results.

“We believe that larger-scale, professional landlords will fuel the future growth of the private rented sector and we are well-positioned to serve that market.

“We have remained active during the lockdown period, supporting our customers and quickly adapting to the challenging conditions.

“We have recommenced physical property valuations and received an upsurge in visits to our intermediary portal in the period after the housing market reopened in May, suggesting pent-up demands from landlords.”

Nigel Terrington, chief executive of Paragon added: “The group made strong progress up to the commencement of the UK lockdown, with lending volumes and yields broadly in line with expectations.

“We have a high-quality loan book, 98 per cent of which is secured, and strong capital and liquidity, and our business stands ready to meet the changing needs of our customers throughout this challenging period and into the next business cycle.”

 

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