Roma Finance adds products and electronic signatures to processing channel

Roma Finance adds products and electronic signatures to processing channel

The channel was introduced in September and has already led to its loan book doubling in size, according to Roma Finance.

Light refurbishment products will now be available. Its light refurbishment rates start from 0.79 per cent and there is a loan to value limit of 70 per cent.

The processing channel has fewer stages, less documentation requirements and improved technology, which Roma Finance says streamlines cases to offer and completion.

The lender said 80 per cent of its bridging cases were completed in under 28 days.

Brokers need to submit three things and then the technology will do the rest. Roma Finance said on straightforward cases, solicitors could be instructed within 24 hours.

Steve Smith (pictured), sales director at Roma, said following the launch of RomaFlow in September and it had “worked really hard to maintain this improved process for straightforward cases and continue to enhance it”.

He added: “We know that brokers love Roma for our lending less ordinary approach but speed continues to be a major factor in the bridging market. We love to lend and are delighted we can now offer an enhanced RomaFlow and also on more products.

“Brokers don’t need to do anything different. Just send in the case and, unless it’s particularly complex, we’ll put it into RomaFlow and provide brokers and borrowers with much quicker turnaround times.”

Central Trust develops origination platform

Central Trust develops origination platform

As a result, new applications can be submitted directly via the portal and into the origination platform. There will be no need to email any details or documentation separately.

The improved portal will now be able to provide agreement in principle (AIP) referrals direct to the mortgage desk, electronic income verification and real-time case tracking.

Central Trust has promised that its underwriting team will provide a same day update on all submissions received prior to 1pm when documents are sent via the portal, otherwise updates will be within 24 hours of receipt.

Similarly, all AIPs that require a referral will get a response within one hour when the portal is used. Referrals are visible to the underwriting team when an application is submitted. 

Maeve Ward (pictured), director of commercial operations at Central Trust, said that the lender was committed to delivering a quality service to all brokers, whether they have used Central Trust before or are new to the lender.

She continued: “We appreciate that a journey for one person might not work for another, and while the system is our preferred submission route, we will for a period of time accept email submissions from brokers while we provide them with training on the new system.

“We have invested heavily in our systems and today’s announcement is the culmination of much of that investment, all in service of our commitment to providing service which is second to none.”

Central Trust recently announced its move into lending in Northern Ireland, while it has also expanded its arrears criteria and accepted income streams.

Brightstar launches programme to encourage women into financial services careers

Brightstar launches programme to encourage women into financial services careers

The scheme is being run through its adviser business, Sirius Property Finance, which will host a ‘Women into Finance’ day on 12 July in partnership with MT Finance.

A programme of events will be held at the London-based brokerage, with 12 sixth form students from Debden High School in Essex who are interested in a financial services career taking part. They will be able to spend time in a variety of different areas with the Sirius business, including with brokers, case managers, the marketing and relationship teams. 

The students will then be invited to apply for a fictional job role, and be interviewed by managers within the business, with feedback then provided on how they performed.

The ‘Women into Finance’ scheme follows the Sirius Academy and Young Learners Programme, which delivers an in-house training and CeMAP programme. The first two academy members ‘graduated’ into financial adviser roles at the firm last year.

Leoni Alexandrou (pictured), head of operations at Sirius Property Finance, said: “We already have shining examples of young people who have come to Sirius for work experience placements, some of whom have gone onto take full time roles with us. We are so proud of our youth team and what they have achieved and we believe that they serve as fantastic role models to other young people looking to join our business and the industry.”

Clare Jupp, group director of people development, added that the scheme was evidence of the action needed to improve the representation of women in financial services, as well as to help build the next generation of the industry.

She continued: “Opening the doors to the working office is the obvious way to give young people a real taste of what it means to work in this fantastic industry. These young women will be led in a variety of sessions by women of our business and also from MT Finance. We believe that these women have inspirational stories and journeys to share as well as knowledge and expertise. We believe that this is a winning strategy.”

Castle Trust revamps BTL TermTen to give greater rate certainty

Castle Trust revamps BTL TermTen to give greater rate certainty

The revamped TermTen product features a booking fee of 0.07 per cent to lock in the current rate.

The fee is paid after a credit-backed decision in principle (DIP) has been agreed and allows borrowers to secure the rate for 120 days once the terms have been issued.

If the loan completes within this timeframe, the booking fee will be deducted from the arrangement fee at completion.

TermTen is available for 4.96 per cent up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV) for loans on homes in multiple occupation (HMOs), standard buy-to-let properties, holiday lets, portfolios and multi-unit freehold blocks (MUFBs).

The rate is fixed for five years, with early repayment charges (ERCs) payable only during the fixed rate period, and the maximum loan size is £15m.

Castle Trust Bank said the loan was available to portfolio landlords, first-time landlords, individual and limited companies – including complex structures. It said ex-pats and foreign nationals could apply for it.

Barry Searle, managing director of property at Castle Trust Bank, said: “At a time where interest rates are so volatile, we’re introducing changes to provide brokers with certainty about the rate they can offer their clients.

“Our revamped TermTen loan not only provides buy-to-let landlords with the opportunity to finance specialist or complex investments over a longer term than a traditional bridging loan, but it also now gives them the certainty of locking into the rate they are quoted during a DIP. In a rising rate environment, where lenders frequently increase their pricing, this innovative new feature provides peace of mind that, as long as the loan completes within 120 days, the rate a broker quotes to their client is the rate that they are guaranteed to get.”


Hampshire Trust Bank relaunches short-term lender Syscap

Hampshire Trust Bank relaunches short-term lender Syscap

This follows HTB’s acquisition of Wesleyan Bank in February. Wesleyan absorbed Syscap into its brand in 2018 after it acquired the lender in 2015. 

HTB Syscap provides short-term loans to SMEs to help them cover operative costs. These are issued through its short-term working capital loan which has terms between three to 18 months and is suited to recurring annual expenses. 

The lender also offers asset financing, which can be used for office facilities such equipment or refurbishment. Terms of one to five years are available with this option. 

Both loan types have fixed interest rates. 

Stuart Hulme, managing director at HTB, said: “We are really excited about the relaunch of HTB Syscap, particularly at a time when small business groups are concerned that traditional lenders are pulling up the drawbridge for small firms. 

“With this in mind, we are providing these two lending facilities so that professional firms and SMEs can gain a greater degree of control over their monthly outgoings by smoothing over the financial peaks and troughs throughout the year, enabling these hard-working small businesses to concentrate more of their time on the day-to-day.” 

John Clarke, head of sales at HTB Syscap, added: “We fully appreciate that busy professionals are time poor, which is why we put service at the centre of our proposition: our clients have access to a dedicated relationship manager who will guide them through the applications process, and we’ll typically obtain credit decisions within 48 hours. 

“For existing clients looking to renew, they just need to advise us of their requirements, with no need to complete and sign additional documentation.” 

OMS partners with Step One Finance

OMS partners with Step One Finance

The integration will allow OMS users to directly access Step One Finance’s products and allow them to conduct a full decision in principle without data rekeying.

The two-way API will support and speed up the advice process, sourcing and delivery, according to OMS.

Step One Finance was founded in 2010 and provides both secured or second mortgage loans and personal loans.

Its mortgage loans are available to homeowners and owners of buy-to-let properties in England, Scotland and Wales.

Step One Finance’s minimum loan size is £10,000 and its maximum loan size for residential secured loans is £200,00 and £150,000 for buy-to-let.

The minimum age for secured loans is 21 years old and there is no maximum age. The lender’s minimum income requirement is £16,000 for sole applicants and £20,000 for joint applications.

Step One Finance can lend up to 95 per cent loan to value (LTV) for residential secured loans and 90 per cent LTV for buy-to-let.

The lender has recently enhanced its website and broker portal to improve its functionality and give brokers fast initial price indications and less labour-intensive information requests.

Neal Jannels (pictured), managing director of OMS, said that Step One Finance had a “strong reputation” in the second charge and intermediary marketplace and the integration would five OMS’ users “even wider range of specialist lending options”.

He added that specialist lending options were “becoming increasingly prominent in meeting their clients ever-changing borrowing needs”.

Jannels continued: “As a lender who has embarked on a tech journey to incorporate systems designed from the ground up to streamline the customer journey and to reduce processing times there are many synergies with OMS. And, when combined with core principles of responsibility, transparency, fairness and simplicity, I’m sure this will prove to be a high successful partnership going forward.”

Martin Porter, head of lending at Step One Finance, said: “We are excited to have the full range of our second charge mortgage products integrated and available via API on the OMS platform. Our goal of facilitating a faster and more efficient loan application process using technology is advanced with the announcement of this partnership.

“Neal and the team at OMS have built an impressive all encompassing tool and we look forward to continuing and expanding our relationship.”

Tuscan and Kuflink announce director appointments – round-up

Tuscan and Kuflink announce director appointments – round-up

Kuflink, a Kent-based bridging lender, said Narwal would help build its presence in the intermediary-focused short-term lending market.

Narwal (pictured), will report to Kuflink’s chief executive Narinder Khattoare and  joins the lender with over thirty five years’ experience in financial services.

He started his career in life insurance sales before moving to the mortgage market and learning all aspects of mortgage lending. He then concentrated on underwriting at specialist lender Mortgage Express and then within broker sales at IGroup. Narwal also has hands on experience of the second charge channel with Endeavour Personal Finance.

Khattoare said: “Kuflink started life as a bridging lender in 2012 and has grown organically. In 2016, we launched our P2P platform to attract private investors to fund the bridging loans we offer.

“Its success means that we can now concentrate on growing our presence in the intermediary bridging market, which is why I am delighted to welcome Ranjit Narwal, who is charged with developing our introducer base and bringing the Kuflink brand to a wider broker audience.”

Narwal said: “Kuflink historically has a strong reputation for getting bridging and development finance cases done but had become something of a well-kept secret for brokers in the know, as the business concentrated on developing its P2P platform.

Kuflink is one of very few bridging lenders that does not rely on corporate funding and has a close knit team with a huge amount of lending experience. These are the reasons why I am so excited to be asked to join and take on the role of turbocharging Kuflink’s short term lending presence in the broker market.”


Second charge lending surges 68 per cent in a year

Second charge lending surges 68 per cent in a year


Growth has rocketed by 67.88 per cent year-on-year to total £150.9m in May, industry figures from Loans Warehouse showed.

Month-on-month lending jumped by 7.47 per cent. There were 3,078 completions during the month which was a three per cent uptick on April.

Lending in the year to date has reached £834m, well over double the £389m by the same point last year.

The largest driver for loans was consolidation and home improvements.

May also saw an improvement in lender completions times, down from 22 to 15 days.

Recent data from the Finance and Leasing Association has also painted a picture of a booming second charge market.

Rising house prices have helped more people use their homes for second charge.

Higher interest rates mean a full remortgage can also be a less attractive option now than second charge.


Shawbrook completes £325m securitisation of Bluestone Mortgages loans

Shawbrook completes £325m securitisation of Bluestone Mortgages loans

The pool is made up of 2,094 owner-occupied and buy-to-let mortgages secured against properties in England, Wales and Scotland. The loans were originated by Bluestone.

It is the inaugural securitisation of mortgages originated by Bluestone and Shawbrook said this would help “support the group’s growth objectives, funding strategy and capital management”.

The transaction is the fourth securitisation the firm has completed in recent years, including a £343m buy-to-let securitisation of The Mortgage Lender loans last year.

Dylan Minto, Shawbrook’s chief financial officer, said: “We are delighted to have successfully completed this transaction as it further supports our funding diversification strategy, positions Shawbrook as a solid repeat issuer into the debt capital markets and provides optionality to our Platform Lending origination channel as we widen our Originate to Distribute proposition.

“This transaction increases the contingent wholesale funding options available to us and provides further evidence of how our engagement with wholesale markets is providing valuable optionality within both our funding and income strategies.”

SoMo pledges to lock down rates on bridge loans in Q3

SoMo pledges to lock down rates on bridge loans in Q3

SoMo, which offers short-term finance on bridging loans, cited rising Bank of England interest rates, stock market fluctuations, and the effect of the war in Ukraine on global supply chains and energy costs for spurring its decision.

Jade Keval (pictured), sales director at SoMo, said:  “We’re in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis and many commentators are predicting the UK will move into a recession. It’s a worrying time with much uncertainty, but what we do know is that brokers should expect most lenders to become risk averse over the coming months, meaning rate hikes and lower rates of underwriting. 

“SoMo understands that at such uncertain times, people appreciate guarantees. We therefore want brokers to know that we intend to hold firm with our existing low rates for all new business over the next quarter, so they can move forward with confidence.”

Unlike some other lenders, she said, SoMo will “offer a second charge loan for any business purpose” as a way to temper tough times.

Keval was promoted to sales director in June after five years with SoMo. At the time, Louis Alexander, chief executive of SoMo said Keval was the right person to “lead our hardworking sales team as we enter a volatile economy.”