Proportunity hires TMG’s Lewis as intermediary partnership head; Pink Pig Loans appoints trio of directors

Proportunity hires TMG’s Lewis as intermediary partnership head; Pink Pig Loans appoints trio of directors


In his role, he will aim to grow brand awareness amongst brokers and lenders, and consequently drive business volumes. This will involve recruiting and overseeing a team of business development managers as well as communicating with lenders.

Lewis previously worked at TMG as managing director and before that was national development manager at Mansfield Building Society. Prior to that he held roles at RBS and Direct Line.

Founded in 2016, the company offers second charge top-up loans to aspiring homeowners, which can boost a buyer’s budget by up to £90,000 and is similar to the Help to Buy scheme.

It can be offered to existing homeowners or first-time buyers and is available on existing and new property

The company recently joined the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association and has been added to MCI Club’s lender panel.

In the next 18 months, Proportunity plans to assist 2,000 customers and is targeting £500m to £700m in lending volume.

Vadim Toader, co-founder and chief executive, said: “Our aim is to unlock the value of home ownership for everyone who wants it, helping one million homeowners by 2030. Paul’s appointment is an important step to us achieving that goal.

“Paul is well known and well liked throughout the mortgage market; he has an excellent track record and will be instrumental in helping us work with the market to crack the problem of helping those who want to buy their own homes.”


Pink Pig Loans appoints trio of directors after management buyout

Specialist finance packager and distributor has appointed three directors who will work alongside managing director James Rainbird to support its growth plans.

Nick Johns takes on the role of sales director and Luke Egan has been hired as bridging and development director. Sarah Stroud will be a director.

Johns has worked at Pink Pig since 2017 as sales manager, and prior to that he worked at Y3S loans for five years. Before that he worked at Principality Building Society and Barclays.

Egan joins from Pure Property Finance, where he has worked for seven years as its head of specialist property finance. Before that he held roles at Pure Commercial Finance and Barclays.

Stroud has worked at Pink Pig for over eight years, initially as an underwriter and then as a business development manager. She previously held roles at Millfield Partnership, The Mortgage Unit and Legal & General.

Pink Pig was founded in 2006 and offers specialist fiancé packaging and distribution services across first-charge, second charge, bridging and commercial sectors.

The business was bought in 2016 by Specialist Mortgage Group but was reacquired in a management buyout by Rainbird in February.

Rainbird said: “Getting the right team to support our growth and take this business in the different directions we want to take it, is absolutely critical and by having Nick, Sarah and Luke in these most senior of positions, we are in a very strong place and will be announcing a number of exciting new developments over the course of the coming weeks and months.”

VAS Audit launches Project Monitoring reviews for resi, commercial and development lenders

VAS Audit launches Project Monitoring reviews for resi, commercial and development lenders


The service will provide independent reviewing of initial and interim monitoring reports on the lenders’ security, to help reduce lending risks throughout the loan cycle.

It will enable lenders to audit project monitoring reports before releasing funds.

The reviewing service will cover land and buildings for projects from simple new-builds to conversions to multi-phase sites.

It will be delivered by a team of experienced internal project monitoring surveyors, and can be tailored to suit short-term and term lenders, or brokers.

Daniel Owen-Parr (pictured), managing director of VAS Audit, said: “The Project Monitoring review service has been in demand for a while, but we held off launching until we were certain of having the best people and systems in place to meet lenders’ and brokers’ requirements.”

“The aim is to improve understanding of project monitoring reports, and to highlight weaknesses or areas of concern. We believe that by proving ourselves, and the true value of this service, we will become a trusted partner to the commercial property and development finance sectors,” Owen-Parr said.

Stephen Todd, chief commercial officer and co-found of VAS Group, added: “We are seeing more and more lenders offering development finance products. This new service will provide an essential second pair of eyes to review the report and the figures it is based on, providing accurate, quick and cost-effective advice to help reduce risk for our clients.”

The new Project Monitoring review service from VAS Audit was developed following feedback from lenders, many of which already use VAS Panel Project Monitoring, which launched in May 2020.

The VAS Panel offering finds valuation panel members with internal building consultancy departments who can offer initial and interim project monitoring reports.

VAS Audit and VAS Panel are both part of VAS Group.

Pepper Money launches club for distribution partners

Pepper Money launches club for distribution partners


The distributors currently include 3mc, Brightstar, Complete FS, Dynamo, Impact Specialist Finance, Simply Adverse and TFC Homeloans.

Members will act as specialist distributors and  benefit from exclusive products, named case handlers, a national account manager and quarterly events.

The club aims to build stronger relationships and encourage collaborative working between the various partners.

Pepper Money’s sales director Paul Adams said: “The launch of Pepper Premier recognises the important role played by specialist distributors. They are the key to the growth of our sector, providing invaluable expertise for brokers who have less experience in the specialist market, or want to scale their business.”

He added that the club would help various partners identify new ways to meet changing needs of brokers and customers, and that there were hopes to expand club membership in the future.

Pepper Money’s national development manager Daniel Wraith added: “We have just held our first event for Pepper Premier and it was a real success with good engagement and open discussions.

“We received great feedback about Pepper’s service and lots of good ideas for future proposition development. Working together with our specialist distribution partners in this way really does benefit everyone.”

CHL Mortgages joins NACFB as patron

CHL Mortgages joins NACFB as patron


Founded in 1992, the NACFB is an association for commercial finance brokers and lenders which provides professional expertise, helps set industry and regulatory standards and secure engagement from stakeholders to support commercial finance providers and businesses that need it.

The association has around 2,000 commercial finance brokers as members and works with multiple lenders who act as patrons for the organisation.

Being a patron gives lenders access to data on the broker members and allows them to target specific markets and locations.

CHL Mortgages’ commercial director Ross Turrell (pictured) said: “Becoming a patron of the NACFB was high on the agenda when we planned our return to the buy-to-let market and now seems like an opportune time to officially cement this after a hugely successful first few months and our processes firmly bedded in.

“CHL’s proposition is all about competitive pricing and broad criteria, aligned with a modern digital infrastructure to create a positive experience with tangible benefits for our intermediary partners.”

NACFB’s chair Paul Goodman said: “The association looks to partner only with lenders which can add value to our membership and who are doing their bit to keep moving Britain forward.

“CHL Mortgages’ offering is a good fit for our members, particularly those looking to source solutions for clients with specialist buy-to-let financing requirements.”

CHL Mortgages returned to buy-to-let lending in May this year, opening its closed-book status after 13 years.

Since then, it has hired firmer Fleet Manager and a trio of business development managers and been added to Dynamo, Tenet and MAB’s lending panels.

It has also decreased rates on 75 per cent loan to value (LTV) and 65 per cent LTV products.

HTB Specialist Mortgages launches broker portal

HTB Specialist Mortgages launches broker portal


The new portal, PUMA for Intermediaries, has been rolled out to all brokers following a trial period and will be used for all new applications. 

Complete FS was one of the firms invited to trial the portal. 

Phil Jay, director at Complete FS, said: “We’ve been very impressed with the new portal; how easy it was to set up and use, the quality of the support and documentation and the way it has enabled us to streamline doing business with HTB.  

“There are no more lengthy email chains or need for multiple applications – once the case is registered, it’s all systems go, and we receive updates at each stage of progression.” 

Marcus Dussard (pictured), sales director at HTB, added: “The HTB way of doing business is very much about a personalised approach: it’s how we’ve earned our reputation for being a truly specialist and award-winning lender.  

“So, whilst the new portal is, of course, a great facilitator to even better turnaround and service, I want our brokers to know the full team: BDMs; lending managers, lending assessors, underwriters and completions officers are just as accessible as before to discuss and support each case.” 

Precise Mortgages hires London North West and East BDM; Avamore adds Southwest originator

Precise Mortgages hires London North West and East BDM; Avamore adds Southwest originator


In her role she will support brokers in St Albans, East London, Enfield, Hemel Hempstead, Ilford, Luton, North London, North West London and Romford and Watford.

She was previously a BDM as Coventry Building Society for just over four years and prior to that was a BDM at State Bank of India for just under a year.

Prior to that she worked as a mortgage and protection adviser at Just Mortgages for around a year and a mortgage representative at Nationwide Building Society for over three years.

Precise Mortgages’ national sales manager James Forth said: “I’m delighted that Amanda has chosen to join us. She’s an exciting new addition to a team which is renowned for being one of the most experienced and knowledgeable in the industry.”

“Her previous roles mean she can see things from both sides of the fence and will stand her in good stead for developing broker relationships, as well as keeping them up-to-date about the latest solutions that Precise Mortgages can offer.”

Precise Mortgages has made a number of changes recently such as relaunching top slicing for buy-to-let (BTL) and reintroducing high loan to value (LTV) and adverse credit criteria.

It has also released larger loan products and reintroduced its maximum 80 per cent LTV limit BTL lending.


Avamore hires Southwest originator from Ascot Bridging Finance


Avamore has appointed Andy Gray to its origination team where he will be focused on the Southwest region.

He was previously a senior BDM at Ascot Bridging Finance for just under a year and prior to that a BDM at Oblix Capital for around a year.

He also worked at Castle Trust Bank for nearly four years and before that at Royal Bank of Scotland as a customer adviser for around a year.

Avamore has been rapidly expanding its team in recent months, making eight appointments in the past year. Around half of these were in its origination team.

Avamore’s senior relationship manager Adam Butler said: “Andy’s experience in the Southwest is going to bring so much to the team. As we grow, it’s really important that all broker partners have a consistent and high-quality experience with us.

“Andy is extremely knowledgeable and he has a genuine determination to help brokers deliver for their customers. He is completely committed to presenting the best options available and with the strength of Avamore’s product set, he will undoubtedly unlock new opportunities for the business.”

Secure Trust Bank exits resi market with £54.6m loan book sale

Secure Trust Bank exits resi market with £54.6m loan book sale


The portfolio will be acquired for £54.6m by financing vehicle Jacqali Designated Activity Company.

The purchase price took account of the net book value of £77.7m as of 31 December 2020. The portfolio contributed £1.95m, including allocated costs, to profit before tax in 2020 on an unaudited basis.

The buyer was “a financing vehicle established by a global financial institution,” with the  “purchaser’s  obligation to pay backed by the institution,” STB’s statement said.

The sale was in line with a strategy to focus on specialist lending segments offering higher yields, and capital released will be invested into the business.

STB said in January 2019 that it would withdraw from residential lending, citing competition and pressure on the housing market, and stopped taking new mortgage applications a month later.

It has continued lending in the commercial, development and real estate finance spaces. 

David McCreadie (pictured), chief executive at STB, said: “The disposal is in line with STB’s strategy of maximising value, simplifying the group and focusing on the areas of the business that have the strongest prospects for delivering sustainable and profitable medium to long-term growth.  

“The proceeds will be used to strengthen STB’s capital position, provide additional financial flexibility to deliver its growth strategy, and ultimately enhance returns for shareholders.” 

The sale is subject to agreement.

Brokers expect bridging to be a lead growth segment in H2 – Shawbrook

Brokers expect bridging to be a lead growth segment in H2 – Shawbrook


The lender’s study of 187 brokers showed 26 per cent expected bridging to grow in H2, while 24 per cent said the same for semi-commercial lending and 23 per cent for buy-to-let.

Attitudes towards the market have shifted since the end of 2020. Some 74 per cent of commercial brokers in June said they felt confident about the prospects for growth for the rest of the year, up from 60 per cent in December. 

Additionally, 71 per cent of brokers operating in the buy-to-let, bridging and commercial sectors predicted landlords would increase the number of properties in their portfolio in H2. 

Investors’ buying patterns appeared to be shifting. Some 44 per cent of respondents said they noticed a change in the types of properties being purchased, with 42 per cent saying this was down to expected yields. 

Brokers reported healthy business in general, with 67 per cent saying they had seen a rise in volumes since the start of the year. 

Half of respondents had seen growth of 20 per cent or more in business levels. 

Gavin Seaholme, head of sales at Shawbrook Bank, said: “In what could have been a really difficult period, a sense of urgency from buyers and sellers has instead created increased activity and higher values.  

“Those in a position to diversify or expand their portfolios are not shying away from current opportunities.”  

He added: “Bridging has evolved significantly in recent years and is now viewed as an effective financial solution for the longer term. It allows investors to access capital at a much faster rate than through more traditional finance options.  

“The popularity of the product, and opportunity for growth, show no signs of slowing. For brokers, it’s important they make clients aware of all possible finance options,” Seaholme said. 

Octane Capital tops £100m of lending in a quarter for first time

Octane Capital tops £100m of lending in a quarter for first time


Octane received 325 applications and completed 166 loans in the three months.

The performance included a 15 per cent rise in the number of foreign nationals among its customers, the steepest quarterly rise yet.

Mark Posniak, managing director at Octane Capital, (pictured) said: “Activity levels have been off the scale. The stamp duty holiday was a driver. And we are seeing high demand from foreign nationals, mostly from outside the EU, who increasingly see UK property as a safe haven.”

The proportion of foreign national borrowers buying properties outside London was 36 per cent in the six months to end of June, up from eight per cent in the lender’s launch year in 2017.

Investors to get 10 per cent of proceeds from Lendy-backed Gloucestershire project

Investors to get 10 per cent of proceeds from Lendy-backed Gloucestershire project


In an update to investors last week, receivers RSM Restructuring Advisory said that lenders’ contractual entitlement was estimated to be around £104,720. It noted these were interim distributions and there could be further disbursements in the future.

It said that the firm had been trying to the sell the properties since 2016 but that the sales process had been “challenging” as Lendy insisted on securing an unachievable price.

Following its appointment in 2016, the receiver secured a range of offers in excess of £3m, however, these were rejected by Lendy who said that they would only accept offers in accept of £4m.

RSM Restructuring Advisory said that it was not able to secure offers at this level and the level of interest for the assets dwindled between 2017 and 2019.

As the properties would be held for a period of time the receivers asked for more funds to maintain and secure the site, which was declined by Lendy and led to a deterioration of the plot.

The receivers also explained there were problems relating to litigation from crowdfunders who had advanced funds to the borrower, title issues, multiple security and insurance issues as well as securing vacant possession from the original borrowers.

They noted that the underlying conveyancing was “time consuming” due to the delayed completion timetable.

The update continued that total third party costs were estimated to be £672,421, which include £223,611 to insurer JLT Specialty, £156,000 in legal fees to Shoosmiths and £49,199 to RSM itself.

Lendy, founded by Liam Brooke (pictured), went into administration in May 2019 due to concerns around levels of arrears and defaults.

In a progress report in June this year RSM Restructuring Advisory said that there were 16 live development finance loans with a value of £83.1m and 31 live property bridging loans with an outstanding value of £34.6m.

Around 11 of the development finance loans and 28 of the bridges are in insolvency proceedings.

It added that joint administrators had realised £13.3m in gross realisations over the past six months across 12 loans in its loan book.