Glenhawk hires commercial director and head of mortgage operations

Glenhawk hires commercial director and head of mortgage operations

Michael Clifford (pictured) takes on the role of commercial director and will manage the launch and roll-out of the lender’s products. This includes market evaluation, proposition development and product strategy.

He joins from Hodge where he worked for nearly four years, most recently as head of commercial propositions.

Prior to that he worked at Santander for around four years in various senior roles and Sovereign Bank for around two years.

Simon Lee becomes head of mortgage operations and will report directly to chief operating officer Damani Johnson to work with head of technology Robert Kelly.

He will help the firm enter the specialist long-term secured space, and simultaneously deliver ‘class-leading’ systems and customer service.

Lee joins from Premium Credit, where he spent three years as head of underwriting leading a 25-strong team.

Lee was head of secured credit at Lendable for just under a year, following a period as head of underwriting at Optimum Credit.

Jude Miranda has been appointed bridging credit manager where he will oversee all loan underwriting as well as manage the team of underwriters and case workers. He will report to managing director Nick Hilton.

He previously worked at Masthaven, with roles at Hampshire Trust Bank, Shawbrook Bank and Saffron Building Society on his CV.

Sarah Wade will be the head of marketing and joins from Foundation Home Loans where she held the same role.

Before that she worked at Kensington Mortgages as a senior channel marketing manager and worked at GE Money Home Lending in various roles.

Guy Harrington, chief executive of Glenhawk, said attracting the best talent was critical in ensuring it could “continue to innovate and deliver best in-class-client service”.

He that the firm had enjoyed a strong first-half of the year, as the buoyant housing market and differentiated product proposition underpinned record lending. He added that enquiries for its new regulated range had increased by 300 per cent in May, as an example.

“In particular, we look to Michael, Simon, Sarah and Jude’s experience to ensure we have all the tools at our disposal to build on our most recent launch success, as we progress other exciting growth initiatives,” Harrington noted.

Assetz Capital appoints Andrew Charnley as managing director

Assetz Capital appoints Andrew Charnley as managing director

Charnley will manage a team of 130 and report directly to chief executive Stuart Law.

He has spent over 28 years working in commercial lending and joins from Together where he worked for nearly four years in various roles. These includes director of credit and portfolio. director of asset management and head of corporate.

Prior to that he worked at Lloyds Banking Group for nearly four years, most recently as head of sales for invoice finance. Other senior roles include SME national sales director for invoice finance and trade.

Charnley also spent nearly a decade at Barclays corporate where he worked in several senior product roles.

Law said that attracting talent to Assetz Capital was a sign of its success and a “show of faith in our future”.

“Andrew will play a huge role in taking Assetz Capital to the next level of growth as we look to continue delivering credible returns to our retail and institutional investors, and set our sights on growing our influence in the wider housing market,” he said.

He said that its long-term target included funding as much as a quarter of SME housebuilding sector and Charnley would lead efforts in developing and delivering new bespoke financial products and create new ways to invest in real estate portfolios.

Charnley said: “Assetz Capital has consistently been a market leader in the UK alternative lending sector, providing outstanding returns to investors for over 20 years, while supporting thousands of UK SMEs and financing billions of pounds worth of new housing.

“The business’s pioneering approach, marrying strong returns with a focus on sustainability and social impact, while creating more flexible and accessible platforms for real estate investment has been a truly innovative market force for institutional and retail investors alike.”

He added that the company had provided a “desperately needed alternative to high street lending” to an underserved crucial economic sector over recent decades.

“I am excited to join the team at a critical moment in Assetz Capital’s growth story, as we look to continue to drive market share and innovation, consolidating our position as one of the UK’s top specialist lenders and a business which is growing ever more ambitious in terms of the impact it makes on society,” he said.

The firm has been growing its team, recently hiring Jason Way as business development director and recruting to its origination team.


Starling Bank to buy £500m mortgage book from Masthaven – reports

Starling Bank to buy £500m mortgage book from Masthaven – reports

According to a report in the Financial Times, the acquisition will help the business diversify its lending.

In its latest annual results to June 2021, Starling Bank has 2.3 million accounts with over £6.7bn in deposits and more than £2.3bn in total gross lending.

This compares to around £2.8bn in total customer deposits and £836m in total gross lending in the same period last year. Within its lending, £104m was from retail lending and £2.2bn was SME lending.

Earlier this year Starling Bank was believed to have put together funds worth £130m from existing investors for an acquisition war chest.

Existing investors who participated in the funding round included Goldman Sachs, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Qatar Investment Authority, Harold McPike and RPMI Railpen.

It was also reported earlier this year that Starling was interested in buying Kensington Mortgages’ platform.

Last year, the bank acquired Fleet Mortgages in a £50m transaction, which made Starling the sole funder of Fleet’s future originations.

Earlier this year, Masthaven Bank said that it would withdraw from the UK banking market over the next two years after a strategic review of the business.

At the time, it said that its withdrawal plans were to cut and ultimately sell its long-term and short-term loan books and return its savings deposits to customers.

Masthaven was launched in 2004 as a non-bank lender and mainly focused on bridging loans and secured lending.

It got its banking licence in 2016, launched a first mortgage in 2017 and then business savings and buy-to-let products in 2018.

Starling Bank and Masthaven declined to comment.

Vida Homeloans reports first break-even year in 2021

Vida Homeloans reports first break-even year in 2021


The company reports statutory profit of £2.7m and core profit before tax of £4.5m, up from a £5.8m loss in 2020.

Net interest income increased to £34.5m from £23.9m in 2020 and the net interest margin increased in 2021 to 2.01 per cent from 1.44 per cent in 2020.

Gross yield on the mortgage book improved by 30 basis points to 4.61 per cent, while funding costs improved during the year, at 1.94 per cent compared to 2.22 per cent in 2020.

Gross new lending was up from £257m in 2020 to £463m in 2021 and net loans to customers grew by 10.8 per cent in 2021 to £1.81bn. Regionally it lent the most to London, at around £760m, and the least in the North East, at approximately £26m.

BTL loans made up 74 per cent of the loan book, netting the lender just under £1.34bn. The most popular product for BTL is the 60 to 70 per cent LTV, which saw the lender give out just shy of £586m –  £113m more than its £473m total in owner-occupied lending.

It currently holds £1.8bn in debt securities, versus £1.6bn in 2020.

Total share capital, of which 99.5 per cent has been provided by Belmont Green’s private equity investor, Pine Brook, stood at £204m, up £8m on 2020. The business drew down £8m from Pine Brook’s line of equity during the year, compared with £28m in 2020.


Another successful year

Anth Mooney (pictured), Chief Executive Officer, said: “It has been another successful year for Belmont Green. As I said last year our 2021 objective was to break even; we have achieved that with the company.

“We have made significant progress as a business, focusing operational and technology investment on enhancing the intermediary experience and our operational productivity. Our technology platform and flexible operating model allow us to remain nimble and adapt to the environmental challenges presented by the pandemic.

“We continue to provide a critical service for borrowers looking to progress and grow in their lives and are fully committed to building out from our strong customer base to become the leading challenger brand in the UK specialist mortgage market.”


Operational progress against strategic plan

In terms of operational progress against its strategic plan, the firm successfully completed sixth and seventh securitisations, Tower Bridge Funding 2021-1 PL in March 2021 and Tower Bridge Funding 2021-2 PLC in June 2021.

It also proved its operational resilience and moved its service delivery to “a position of consistency, further solidifying our distribution relationships.”

It has strengthened its senior management group and improved its capital efficiency.

Belmont Green was also named one of the best financial services companies to work for in the latest Best Companies results, demonstrating consistent internal support from employees.

Mooney added: “Going forward, our key business focus is to further scale our position in the mortgage market, capitalising on the growing demand for specialist mortgage loans in the UK. Another core strategic priority for Belmont Green is to further augment its well established wholesale funding franchise, and in time seek authorisation by the UK Prudential Regulatory Authority as a deposit taking bank.”

The secret behind a speedy second charge – Mirakian

The secret behind a speedy second charge – Mirakian


Where it may take eight to 12 weeks to secure a first charge mortgage, it’s not uncommon for a second charge mortgage to be offered within 24 hours of the initial fact-find. The speed at which customers can access capital aligns much more closely with the fast-paced world we live in today. Customers demand an experience that is as slick and easy as possible, and a second charge mortgage can deliver this.

There are a number of reasons why second charge mortgage lending can proceed so quickly. For example, three quarters of our cases don’t require a physical valuation, and nowadays permission from the first charge lender is only required around a third of the time.

Lenders are also proactive at providing submission checklists that detail any supporting documents that are needed, and these don’t differ too much from the standard documents requested by first charge lenders.


Income and expenditure

In most cases, it is the income and expenditure of the customer that holds the key as to whether the case is likely to be accepted. It’s this stage of the process that perhaps makes the biggest impact on the pace of a second charge mortgage, but also represents the biggest cultural difference for brokers who are more used to working in the first charge market.

This is because, unlike the first charge market, in seconds the broker carries out most of the underwriting and suitability checks themselves before packaging up the case and sending it for a final decision by the lender. This approach enables lenders to process cases extremely quickly, but it does put a greater onus on brokers to have a more in-depth knowledge of lender criteria.

However, a benefit of this approach is that it puts brokers in much greater control over the experience they can deliver to their customers. Often, it’s the broker who has the greatest influence over how quickly the case can proceed and this can be very empowering. Similarly, given that brokers are taking on more work by assessing and packaging cases in this way, the fees they receive from lenders are commensurate with this increased involvement.


Partner with a master broker

As a broker, staying on top of all the criteria and pricing changes in the first charge market is a full-time job in itself, so it might be fair to ask how they could be expected to also get to grips with the criteria of the second charge lenders to such an extent that they are effectively able to underwrite a case. The truth is that brokers are not expected to be able to juggle all this information – it would be impossible.

Instead, it is common in the second charge mortgage market for brokers to work in partnership with a master broker or specialist distributor that places high volumes of second charge mortgage business on a regular basis and so has an in-depth daily working knowledge of lender criteria and requirements. This is why this model of distribution is so popular in the second charge market – it opens this fast and flexible capital raising solution to brokers who may not engage with the sector on a daily basis.

Second charge mortgage lending can prove one of the fastest ways for homeowners to access the capital in their property because of the role that brokers play in assessing and packaging cases at the start of the process. But this shouldn’t prevent a wider group of brokers from engaging with the sector and denying their customers access to this solution – simply partner with a master broker or specialist distributor with whom you trust and can build a strong ongoing relationship.

Stephen Lawrence retires from Norton Home Loans after 50 years in sales

Stephen Lawrence retires from Norton Home Loans after 50 years in sales


Lawrence (pictured) worked his way up from being a branch manager and business development manager (BDM) at Leeds and Holbeck Building Society in 1972, before moving to The Mortgage Corporation Ltd in 1987 as regional sales manager, gradually working his way up through various senior sales positions at lenders including the Yorkshire Building Society.

He joined Citigroup in 2000 under Citifinancial/Future Mortgages, where he says he took up his first role in second charge mortgages.

To learn more about the sector, he decided to work with Norton Finance for a month where he says he “learned how a secured loan could benefit a customer, the loan process from application to completion and how to make an application fit the published lending criteria.”

He added: “This short period proved to be a turning point in my career as I was allocated many of the UK-based master brokers and asked to develop increased business levels from them.”


‘I’ll miss the buzz’

In 2005 Lawrence was promoted to national accounts manager secured loans at Citigroup, before moving to Norton Home Loans in 2008, where the lender says “he was instrumental” in launching first and second charge mortgage lending.

Lawrence, said: “I retire leaving an exceptional team of managers and I would like to think I have in some way trained and supported them in their important company roles. The last 14 years have been the happiest work moments in my life and I will definitely miss the buzz.”

Paul Stringer, managing director of Norton Group, paid tribute. He said: “Steve has always been one of our most valued employees, carrying out his role in his usual conscientious and dedicated way he has built up a reputation as one of the most well-liked and respected sales managers in the industry.

“He will be missed not only by his colleagues but also the large number of friends he has made over the years within the company and the broker market in general. We wish him all the best for the future.”

TAB on-track for £200m of lending in 2022 after record April

TAB on-track for £200m of lending in 2022 after record April

In April, the lender said that it had completed 11 loans coming to around £23.69m. This is up from its record of £17m in March.

It added that the success came off the back of its largest ever loan at more than £13m.

The lender said that more than £40m of loans have been redeemed this year, and that it had made £179m of loans to date. Its loan book is worth more than £96m.

Duncan Kreeger (pictured), chief executive and founder of Tab, said that over the course of the past few months it had deals ranging from several million pounds in value, to smaller deals requiring speed and quick turnaround as the drawdown was impacted within days of the formal offer being issued.

He said: “Our tech is speeding up applications and the amount of data we are collecting is also deepening. That’s generating meaningful insights that are helping us evolve to suit our clients’ needs.”

Kreeger said that over the coming year, Tab is looking to “capitalise on the success” of 2021, adding that “we are here to fund loans, and that is our focus”.

“With multiple sources of capital from private investors and institutions, and our emphasis on trust and transparency, Tab is going from strength to strength. In fact, we are on track to lend more than £200m this year,” he added.

TAB was launched in 2018. It offers bridging and development loans ranging from first charge residential and commercial, second charge residential and commercial, land with planning, development finance, and refurbishment loans.

It recently secured a revolving credit facility from Atalaya Capital Management, which at the time it said would be used to fuel growth and finance bridging and development loans.

Kreeger said in November last year that Tab was aiming to write £100m in development finance over the next 18 months, adding that there was a gap in the market in the under £5m segment.

In March this year, the lender conducted a poll of its brokers which found almost half, 46 per cent, said that development finance was “hotter” than the bridging market.

Monument hires relationship manager for bridging team

Monument hires relationship manager for bridging team

Lushi will lead the Monument team in resolving any bridging related queries.

He joins Monument from PCF Bank where he successfully assisted with the creation of the lender’s bridging proposition, building a lending book portfolio of more than £100m in the process. He has previously held roles at Santander, has experience in savings, and is CeMAP qualified.

Lushi (pictured) said: “I’m really pleased to join the team during this exciting time. Monument has built an established reputation and I’m looking forward to helping to further develop its bridging proposition.”

Conor McDermott, head of lending at Monument, added: “I would like to welcome Fatlum to the growing team. As a specialist buy-to-let lender, we understand the important role that bridging plays in helping investors achieve their goals and maximise their returns. Fatlum has great experience in this area and will prove a valuable addition in helping us deliver the best solutions for landlords.”

Later Life Lending Network secures access to select More 2 Life and Pure Retirement products

Later Life Lending Network secures access to select More 2 Life and Pure Retirement products

The products had previously been granted to LLLN members on a firm-by-firm basis.

LLLN is the equity release arm of The Right Mortgage Network (TRM). It caters to around 100 later life specialist members.

A spokesperson for LLLN said: “Previously some of our firms did already have access. However the funder, Rothesay, made the decision to get full access and enable our advisers to be whole of market to make sure they are offering the very best service.”

Victoria Wilson, head of equity release at LLLN, said: “This development comes after extensive work to strengthen and further what we can do for our members. We are really pleased to extend access to these exclusive products to our members.

“We cannot wait to continue to pave the way for more exciting projects to continue to support and develop our members and their businesses.”

Gary Little, business development director at more2life, added: “We are delighted to build on our distribution and provide access to The Later Life Lending Network’s specialist members. We are committed to supporting advisers and their customers’ individual circumstances, and this is another step towards achieving this goal. We look forward to working with Victoria and her team.”

Hattie Fancourt, national field sales manager at Pure Retirement, added: “Pure Retirement are happy to offer all equity release qualified members of TRM full access to our classic product range.

“We pride ourselves on an efficient service on all cases with the support of our telephone and field-based business development manager team.”

SoMo second charge business rises 25 per cent in 2021 as London office plans unveiled

SoMo second charge business rises 25 per cent in 2021 as London office plans unveiled

The lender said that it now made up 50 per cent of its loans, continuing a trend since the company was launched in 2014.

According to the Finance and Leasing Association, the second charge mortgage market reported the highest monthly level of new business volumes for two years and has now returned to pre-pandemic levels of new business by both value and volume.

The company reported that its second charge lending had “remained consistent” through the pandemic.

Rob Johnson, head of underwriting at SoMo, said: “At the back end of 2020 we were one of the few lenders to keep our doors open for new business. This enabled us to grow our pipeline, hence the record number of completions and lending over the last year.”

He added that second charge lending was a “niche market” with a lot of potential in London and South East.

Johnson continued: “We want to educate brokers about the potential of second charge lending. The message coming from our network is that they’re surprised by the demand and delighted that this type of loan can be used for a variety of purposes.”

He explained that post-pandemic, many businesses were looking to raise funds via second charge mortgages to “keep their businesses afloat, and to jump on new opportunities that have arisen”.

Examples cited include purchasing a buy-to-let property, paying off a tax bill or expanding a business with new premises, materials, or marketing.

“As a business overall, we’re lending more month-on-month and year-on-year and we see second charge loans as an important part of our growth strategy,” he said.

“A lot of lenders won’t look at second charge lending, but we’re very good at it and have robust systems in place to minimise risk. It makes sense to concentrate on this to help support our growth.”

For second charge business the lender can offer up to 70 per cent loan to value (LTV) against open market value, and rates from 0.6 per cent per calendar month.

SoMo added that this year it would open an office in London so it could work with business development managers and underwriters to take advantage of the second charge market.