The lender, which secured a full banking licence in mid-June, has added bridge-to-let and first-time landlord deals to its range. Looking ahead, Castle Trust said it planned to add longer-term products to its offering.
Speaking to Specialist Lending Solutions, managing director Barry Searle (pictured) said: “Now we have a banking licence our cost of funds will be lower which means we can add longer term rates like five and ten year deals to our product range. We’re going to wait though, because right now we want to focus on offering our existing borrowers great deals and expanding the criteria on current products.”
The bank is currently only lending on buy-to-let properties up to a maximum of 75 per cent LTV with a maximum value of £4m. Rate start at 4.99 per cent LTV.
Castle Trust took the decision to manage its risk appetite during lockdown, but as restrictions begin to lift, the lender is re-introducing criteria to meet the demand from brokers.
When the market begins to emerge from the pandemic, Searle wants to grow the bank’s specialist lending volumes and has started making plans for a bigger product launch.
“We’re probably known more for one and two-year deals,” he said. “We did launch a 10-year product at the start of the year, but now we want to launch more five and 1o-year deals to go with it.”
Aside from concentrating on achieving a full banking licence, Searle and his team have been working on a programme of product term extensions for existing borrowers.
He said: “Our first concern in the Covid-19 outbreak was to make sure our existing customers were financially secure. All cases that had a product term due to expire from April to September were automatically given a six month extension on the same rate.”
Searle said he wants to support the bank’s broker partners by being upfront about the cases it will and will not accept.
“I have a lot of sympathy for brokers in the current environment as so many lenders are vague about what they will and won’t lend on throughout this uncertain period,” he added. “We want to be very clear and open about our lending appetite so that brokers know exactly where they stand and can submit an application to Castle Trust in confidence.”