Octane Capital hires trio to boost market share and service
Mike Allen has been recruited at an internal business development executive. He joins from Brightstar Financial where he worked as a short-term lending case manager for three years.
Allen will assist business development managers (BDMs) with enquiries and structure deals for credit review. He will report to Oli Greenspan, head of marketing and internal sales.
Octane also hired Joshua Carmody and Tuathla Underwood as credit analysts. They will report to senior credit manager, Gemma Salousti.
Mark Posniak (pictured), managing director of Octane Capital, said: “Our philosophy has always been to offer the highest service standards in the industry and the addition of Tuathla, Mike and Josh is another step in that direction.
“All three have exactly what it takes to be a success at Octane and we look forward to seeing them fulfil their potential in the months and years ahead.”
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.
L&G Mortgage Club launches discounted fees and rates exclusive with Octane Capital
Advisers will also benefit from reduced arrangement fee of 1.75 per cent, down from 2.5 per cent. The procuration fee will also be 0.8 per cent.
Octane Capital lends to first-time landlords, ex-pats, applicants with adverse credit and foreign nationals.
Rates for products begin from 4.99 per cent per annum, and have maximum loan to value (LTV) limits between 65 per cent and 75 per cent depending on the product.
The lender will provide finance on properties with a value between £200,000 and £5m, including complex properties such as homes in multiple occupancy (HMO) and multi-unit blocks (MUBs).
Danny Belton, head of lender relationships of L&G Mortgage Club: “Through a common-sense approach to lending, Octane Capital has helped many to start and grow their buy-to-let portfolios and we expect that our adviser community will greatly benefit from the exclusive rates we are offering in conjunction with the lender.
“Its ability to help a wide range of applicants, including those with credit impairments also make it a relevant and timely provider in the post-Covid climate.”
Mark Posniak, managing director of Octane Capital, said: “We expect these competitive rates to suit a wide range of borrowers, however, a clear focus of our is in helping borrowers who have found Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) stress tests an obstacle to their property investment ambitions.
“By removing the need to stress test and instead requiring 100 per cent rental cover, we are opening the door to yet more aspiring buy-to-let landlords in a creative but responsible way. We look forward to continuing to work closely with L&G Mortgage Club and its advisers.”
Octane Capital hits £1bn lending milestone after four years
The lender has received 3,274 applications with a combined value of £2.4bn during that time, and issued agreements in principle worth £8.8bn.
The firm has completed 1,375 loans in total since launch.
Last week, it completed its largest and most complex loan to date, a £17.4m, five-year buy-to-let facility for a London-based landlord.
The facility refinanced 40 properties in London, comprising 160 units, at a rate of 4.99 per cent with one per cent interest deferred.
The broker was Liubov Vaskevych at Your Mortgage Advisor, whose role in the deal included securing reassurances to help overcome planning irregularities which existed on some of the properties.
Jonathan Samuels, chief executive at Octane Capital (pictured), said: “Completions of £1bn is a significant milestone and reflects the exceptional efforts of our team over the past four years. We’ve evolved into a hybrid platform since launching, offering product-less solutions and buy-to-let products.”
Mark Posniak, managing director at Octane Capital, added: “We’re only as good as the people we work with, and I’d like to thank all our broker, legal and surveying partners. We’re looking forward to hitting £2bn.”
Octane Capital and Kensington bolster BDM teams
Bleasdale joins from Zephyr Homeloans and will be covering the north of England. Kelman joins from Kensington Mortgage Group, is based in London, and will cover the south of England.
Octane offers a buy-to-let product with no stress testing and a pay rate starting at 3.99 per cent and is targeting first-time landlords, foreign nationals, multi-unit freehold blocks and houses in multiple occupation (HMO) among other non-standard structures.
Liam Lawlor, sales director, Octane Capital, said: “We’ve been bowled over by the level of demand from brokers for our buy-to-let product and have brought Emma and Dylan onboard to specifically accommodate it. They’re both highly experienced operators and know the market inside out so will hit the ground running.”
Kensington’s strategic growth
Meanwhile, Kensington Mortgages has appointed Neil Tribick as regional business development manager (BDM) for the North East.
Tribick has more than 20 years’ experience in the mortgage and financial services industry, joining from Furness for Intermediaries. Prior to this, he worked at Tesco Bank Mortgages, Castle Trust and Intelligent Finance.
As part of Kensington’s continued growth plans, in March, it made additional hires in the BDM and Business Development Unit (BDU) team. Kensington Mortgages also increased its underwriting team by 50 per cent over the past twelve months as part of plans to double its number of underwriters.
Craig McKinlay, new business director, Kensington Mortgages, said: “We are delighted to welcome Neil to the team. His past experience will be invaluable in his new role. As we complete the recruitment of our field sales team and continue to grow our BDU and underwriting support teams, our newly-filled North East role will be central to this strengthening presence.”
McKinlay said from May 17, the team of BDMs will be available for face-to-face broker visits in addition to video and telephone appointments.
Octane sets lending peak with £92m in Q1
The firm said the figure was a 121 per cent increase on the final three months of 2020.
It reported that completions were balanced evenly across the lender’s categories: refurbishment, bridging and developer exit loans, and medium-term buy-to-let products.
And Octane added that application numbers also increased by 126 per cent on the October to December period, with the stamp duty holiday and a resurgence in buy-to-let being the key drivers of this activity.
Earlier this month the lender opened availability for its buy-to-let products to the whole broker market.
Jonathan Samuels (pictured), CEO of Octane Capital, said: “The first three months of the year have been the most frantic we’ve ever experienced.
“The property market is absolutely booming due to the stamp duty holiday and our buy-to-let product is proving a particular hit with brokers and their landlord clients.”
He added that the lender had become a life cycle lender for brokers, providing bridges, then funding the refurbishments then moving borrowers onto buy-to-let loans.
Octane opens up full range of BTL deals to all brokers
Loans starting from £150,000 in waves one and two were previously only available on a semi-exclusive basis.
The lender does not stress test borrowers and says it is targeting landlords most other lenders want to avoid.
These include foreign nationals, first-time landlords and owners of multi-unit freehold blocks.
Mark Posniak (pictured), managing director of Octane Capital, said: “In recent months, we’ve been further fine-tuning it and putting systems in place to ensure we could continue to provide a high quality service for brokers at scale and now we’ve reached that point.
“Our buy-to-let loans are targeting a demographic that the vast majority of lenders actively avoid, with many of our borrowers to date having multiple non-standard circumstances.
“But this is where we believe we stand apart as a lender and we look forward to helping as many brokers as possible during 2021.”
SimplyBiz Mortgages launches specialist finance mortgage club
The range of bridging loans, development finance, commercial mortgages and specialist buy-to-let products will be available from 12 lenders to start with.
The club will offer special arrangements and enhanced procuration fees, as well as exclusive access to some lenders and products which may not previously have been available to all brokers.
Lenders who are members of the Financial Intermediary and Broker Association (FIBA), which is owned by SimplyBiz parent company Fintel, are offering the products.
They are Affirmative, InterBay Commercial, LendInvest, Masthaven, MFS, Octane, Octopus RE, Reward Finance, Roma Finance, Together, UTB and YBS Commercial.
Advisers and brokers who are members of SimplyBiz Mortgages or FIBA can access the club.
“Many firms have taken the opportunity to diversify over the past 12 months,” said Martin Reynolds, chief executive at SimplyBiz Mortgages.
“This unique opportunity now gives SimplyBiz Mortgages’ members access to a number of lenders in this highly-defined lender area, offering a variety of solutions for client requirements and adding another strength to the proposition.”
Octane Capital funds mixed-use ownership transfer; Castle Trust Bank delivers hybrid loan
Shares in the site were transferred to two limited companies comprising of 60 tenancies and 40 titles that had been held by the same managers for 25 years.
Nick Harrison, founder of commercial broker Bespoke Business Finance, said: “This ended up far more complicated than originally anticipated with a share purchase agreement involving numerous shareholders, a highly complex security structure and three sets of lawyers.
“In my eyes, the transaction would never have got over the line without Octane’s expertise.
Alex Tyrwhitt (pictured), head of structured finance, Octane Capital, added: “Nick Harrison and Martin Lee of Bespoke showed their quality and experience as ever by working day and night to ensure all parties and professionals were on track, informed and motivated to see the deal through to a successful completion.
“In addition, Simon Noonoo and the rest of the team at Seddons were absolutely crucial in getting this labyrinthine deal over the line.”
Castle Trust Bank completes £9.6m hybrid loan
Castle Trust Bank has completed a £9.6m development exit loan with a combined serviced loan and bridge.
The lender worked with brokerage Sirius Property Finance to enable the client to secure the loan on a block of 69 one and two-bedroom apartments in a five-storey commercial to residential conversion.
The project was constructed under permitted development and the owner plans to sell some of the residences and let the remainder.
The loan has been split between a bridging loan on the properties which will be sold alongside a five-year fixed rate loan with serviced interest on the properties which will be let.
The bridge will convert to a serviced loan after nine months to allow the client to de-leverage the loan or service the debt.
The development has been valued at £13.2m and the loan to value (LTV) was 73 per cent.
Rob Oliver, sales director at Castle Trust Bank, said: “This case is an excellent example of the type of bespoke deal we are able to structure at Castle Trust Bank.
“The client wanted the flexibility to sell some of the units but also a sustainable solution that would allow them to retain the majority of the units for ongoing income.”
Nicholas Christofi, managing director at Sirius Property Finance, said: “It’s always a pleasure to work together with a lender on a deal like this, which is structured to give a client exactly what they need.”
TSLE: ‘Demand from overseas buyers set to grow’
If Brexit hits the pound, property will be cheaper and more appealing to buyers based overseas, Mark Posniak, managing director at Octane Capital (pictured) said in his presentation.
On the other hand, if sterling strengthens the UK will be seen as a safe haven for foreign investors in a ‘win, win’ situation for this part of the market, he added.
This “huge growth area” means it is a good time for advisers to “set out your stall” to cater for the increased demand from overseas buyers, according to Posniak.
He said there is a particular opportunity in relation to the large number of buyers from Hong Kong looking to relocate in the UK.
For brokers interested in growing overseas clients, the issues are similar to UK-based borrowers.
However, there is some enhanced due diligence on the borrower to understand where their wealth comes, Posniak added.
Advisers will need to make sure funds are clean and identify where these funds are coming from.
Earlier on the first day of TSLE, delegates heard how there were big growth opportunities across different segments of the specialist market.