OSB Group launches 10-strong office-based BDM team to support brokers
The team has been recruited internally and will be supported by 16 field-based BDMs who work across Precise Mortgages and Kent Reliance for Intermediaries.
It will be split between the Wolverhampton and Kent offices and the team will be under the direction of Simon Cockerill (pictured), head of intermediary sales development.
Team members include Nathan Chand, Joe Baxter, Carla Elwell, Jack Cope, Amit Vymar, Dhiraj Dhanda, Samantha Brain, Jignesh Mistry, George Williams and Vijay Badhan.
Their contact details can be found through the BDM finder page on each lender’s website.
The launch of the team followed a six-month pilot scheme in the North of England, and during the first six weeks the office-based BDMs made over 960 interactions with brokers, which included inbound and outbound calls and virtual meetings.
The company said that initial feedback showed an “increase in broker satisfaction” and “welcome support” for the field-based BDM team.
Cockerill said the firm was always looking at how it could best support brokers and the goal was to “ensure consistent levels of support could be accessed by brokers nationwide, regardless of location”.
“This is where we can really utilise our office-based BDMs, who complement our already very successful field-based team,” he said.
He added that the pilot had given the company “unique insight” as brokers felt office-based BDMs improved their experience and the results were “extremely promising”
“Rolling out this initiative nationally, so that the majority of postcodes have both a field and office BDM, means we can deliver on supporting brokers with their top requirement which is accessibility to answer pre-application enquiries,” Cockerill said.
OSB Group launches bridging range with Precise Mortgages and InterBay
The group said the proposition will help brokers meet client requirements for short-term lending solutions.
It added that there was high demand for heavy non-regulated refurbishment on properties due to lack of available property stock.
The range is a two-tier offering, in addition to standard bridging finance range, and will allow a “wider choice of streamlined options for brokers”. It covers structural works and extensions for residential customers as well commercial conversion.
Rates begin at 0.47 per cent for regulated and non-regulated products through Precise Mortgages and InterBay and up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV) is available.
There is also a develop exit range up to 75 per cent LTV available through InterBay.
House to flat conversions and works that require planning permission are both allowed in the range through both Precise and InterBay.
Commercial to flat conversions are permitted through InterBay, and the firm also has a expanded solicitor panel which has dual legal representation.
Emily Hollands (pictured), head of specialist finance at OSB Group, said the launch coincided with the changing property market, which included heightened demand for houses in multiple occupation and changes in permitted development rights.
She added: “From our own research and market knowledge, we know that investors are looking at a wider range of properties for conversion into residential units as well as changing commercial usage from pure office space into a combined “work/eat/sleep” offering.
“With our combined expertise across both Precise Mortgages and Interbay, we’re confident in being able to offer the best support and knowledge across short term lending and this new product range cements our commitment.”
Rob Jupp, chief executive at Brightstar Financial said that it was a “really exciting announcement” from OSB Group and it was pleased to see a “comprehensive range of products”.
He said: “It’s wonderful to have InterBay back into the bridging market, alongside Precise Mortgages and their dual-branded approach offers the next level in terms of support and expertise. This new product range is very timely for the market.”
Precise relaunches deals for adverse credit borrowers; Kent Reliance adds resi mortgages – round-up
Products will be available up to 85 per cent loan to value (LTV) and the lender will re-introduce its tier 5 products for those with high levels of adverse credit up to 80 per cent LTV.
Borrowers who fall under the tier 5 category include people with a maximum of two defaults in the last two years, one CCJ in the last two years or one missed mortgage payment in the last 12 months.
All products offer a refund on valuations.
Precise will also relaunch its right to buy products at 90 and 100 per cent LTV of the discounted purchase price for those with less-than-perfect credit profiles.
Adrian Moloney, group intermediary director at OSB Group (pictured), said: “This latest residential product offering from Precise Mortgages gives brokers and their customers the flexibility to access finance even in the most complex circumstances. The pandemic has undoubtedly left a mark on many customers who may be struggling to secure lending elsewhere and this range could provide a simple solution, especially for those with an impacted credit score.
“It’s good news for brokers too as our automated cascade system filters cases through our tiers until an appropriate product is found without the need to reapply.”
Danny Belton, head of lender relationships at L&G Mortgage Club, added: “This is a welcome announcement from Precise Mortgages and a real boost to our customers who may have less-than-perfect credit through no fault of their own.
“As a broker, it’s a great feeling to be able to secure finance that supports a customer’s individual needs and helps take the pressure off them.”
Kent Reliance for Intermediaries launches residential range
Kent Reliance for Intermediaries, part of the leading specialist lender OSB Group, has launched residential mortgages up to 90 per cent LTV with no maximum loan amounts on selected products.
The products are expected to be suitable for young professionals, entrepreneurs, self-employed and contractors as well as those with multi-source income streams.
There are purchase and remortgage options as well as two-year tracker deals.
Moloney said: “This new residential range from Kent Reliance for Intermediaries shows our ongoing commitment to brokers and will be a timely boost for those clients with varied income sources who may have not been able to find a solution on the high street.”
OSB Group appoints three specialist account managers
Newcomer Mo Parmar, joins Kevin Beale and Ross Williams bringing the specialist finance team to a total of seven, headed up by Emily Hollands, head of specialist finance, OSB Group.
The team will work in partnership with brokers to shape bespoke lending solutions across specialist buy to let including houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) commercial, semi-commercial, bridging finance and holiday let propositions.
Emily Hollands, head of specialist finance of OSB Group (pictured), said: “This area of business has seen sustained growth this year and is clearly a strong development area hence the team expansion. Broker feedback clearly shows there is a high demand for the in-depth market expertise that this team offers and the added value they bring to the table with their relationship-led approach.”
Jo Breedon, managing director at Crystal Specialist Finance, added: “This is such welcome news and acknowledgment that the OSB Group really does have its finger on the pulse when it comes to understanding broker’s needs. We rely heavily on this particular team’s skillset which includes commercial acumen, acute underwriting knowledge and bridging specialism to name a few.
“Under the strong leadership of Emily Hollands, this team bring together the skills and experience that really helps brokers and their clients shape complex deals. As subject matter experts, they become an extension of the broker/client team, which allows them to build individual deals which really align to the lending needs of our clients.”
OSB Group creates high net worth division
It said this came off the back of “strong growth” within the group.
The high net worth client management team will be led by Simon Cockerill, head of intermediary sales development.
Marc Callaghan has been appointed group high net worth client account manager and Krissy Salmon has been hired high net worth client account manager.
Callaghan has returned to OSB after working at Shawbrook Bank for two years as national sales manager.
Salmon has also come back to the group after going on maternity leave last April. She has been promoted from her previous role as specialist finance account manager, where she oversaw the Interbay Commercial, Precise Bridging and Precise Second Charge divisions.
Simon Cockerill, head of intermediary sales development at OSB Group (pictured), said the team was “excited” to be setting the division up.
He added: “The new team will be getting in touch with brokers from April onwards to ensure we can help them to support their clients with any new borrowing or retaining their business.
“This also means we can help to review the requirements and best options for clients with their brokers. It’s a collaborative approach that keeps the broker at the epicentre of the relationship, teamed with our lending products and specialist sector knowledge.”
OSB Group’s profits rise to £464m in 2021
The group reported a 20 per cent growth in gross mortgage lending, a £4.5bn increase on its 2020 margins.
This resulted in its net loan book increasing by 10 per cent to £21.1bn.
The group also reported a net interest margin (NIM) of 2.53 per cent, up from 2.16 per cent in 2020, which it said was due to the lower cost of retail funds.
It said this was achieved despite its decision to restrict lending during the first half of 2021 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UK’s economic situation had improved by July, which allowed the group to launch products at pre-pandemic criteria within its core buy-to-let and residential divisions. However, it continued to control its lending across commercial, bridging, development finance, funding lines and second charge residential business.
Andy Golding, chief executive, said the group saw “especially strong demand” from landlords buying through a limited company structure and those buying specialist properties.
He said landlords were “demonstrating high levels of confidence” and that the group was committing to supporting them with its products.
The proportion of mortgages which are over three months in arrears remained stable in 2021 at 1.4 per cent for OneSavings Bank (OSB) and 0.7 per cent for Charter Court Financial Services (CCFS), which includes Precise Mortgages and Charter Savings Bank.
These were compared to segments of 1.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent respectively in 2020.
The weighted average loan to value (LTV) of the group’s loan book reduced to 62 per cent as at 31 December 2021 from 65 per cent in 2020, which it said was supported by house price appreciation.
The weighted average LTV of new business written by the group fell to 69 per cent from 70 per cent as it controlled its lending criteria over the year.
The buy-to-let and SME net loan book within the OSB business rose by eight per cent to £9.9bn in 2021, supported by organic originations of £1.8bn. Organic originations were 17 per cent up on 2020’s £1.5bn.
The net interest income for the buy-to-let and SME segment rose by 29 per cent to £340.5m from £264.7m in 2020. The group said this reflected growth in the loan book, a lower cost of retail funds and an effective interest rate reset gain of £24.9m.
The segment contributed £341.5m to the group’s overall profit, up 45 per cent on 2020’s £235.9m.
The average LTV fell to 65 per cent down from 67 per cent, with only 2.5 per cent of loans exceeding 90 per cent LTV. This was a change of 2.9 per cent on the previous year.
The average LTV for new loans in this division was 73 per cent, up from 21 per cent in 2020.
Separately, buy-to-let gross loans completed by the Kent Reliance brand rose 10 per cent to £8.8bn up from £8bn and organic originations increased to £1.5bn, up from £1.1bn.
Professional and portfolio landlords accounted for the majority of borrowers, making up 82 per cent of completions by value.
The number of landlords obtaining loans through a limited company remained fairly stable, at 73 per cent in 2021 compared to 75 per cent in 2020.
The proportion of refinances declined to 54 per cent of business compared to 58 per cent in 2020, which the group said was due to landlords adding to their portfolios during the stamp duty holiday.
There was a trend towards longer term products as five-year fixed mortgages made up 62 per cent of Kent Reliance’s completions, up from 52 per cent the year before.
OSB’s retention programme, Choices, helped the business retain customers with 71 per cent of existing borrowers choosing a new product with the lender three months after their mortgage matured. This was fairly similar to the 75 per cent of retained borrowers seen in 2020.
The weighted average LTV of the buy-to-let book reduced from 67 per cent to 64 per cent and the average loan size fell from £260,000 to £250,000.
The average interest cover ratio for buy-to-let loans was 199 per cent, broadly flat on the year before’s 201 per cent.
Interbay and Heritable
The gross loan book in the groups’ commercial Interbay brand declined by three per cent to £794.4m as it “retained its prudent lending criteria” in response to the pandemic.
The average LTV was 69 per cent, down from 71 per cent while the average loan size was £380,000 down from £385,000.
Its residential development finance brand Heritable, which funds small and medium sized residential developers operating outside of central London, recorded a gross loan book of £120.7m down from £133.1m.
A further £188m of lending was committed in 2021, up on the previous year’s £145.6m.
Customers of Heritable’s increased rates of sale resulted in high levels of loan repayments during the year. The segment has written £1.4bn of loans since it launched in 2013, of which £792m has been repaid.
OSB’s residential sub-segment comprises lending to owner occupiers through first charge mortgages and under the shared ownership scheme, as well as funding lines to non-bank lenders that operate in high-yielding, specialist sub-segments such as residential bridge finance.
The net loan book grew by eight per cent to £2.1bn, including £558.6m in gross lending which was up more than £200m on the previous year’s £354.2m.
Net interest income rose by nine per cent to £74.3m which the group attributed to the growth of the loan book.
The segment contributed £78.5m towards the group’s profit which was a 21 per cent annual increase.
The average LTV fell to 48 per cent, down from 54 per cent with only 0.8 per cent of loans exceeding 90 per cent LTV. This was compared to a 1.6 per cent share of mortgages above 90 per cent LTV in 2020.
Average LTVs for new mortgages dropped from 61 per cent to 50 per cent due to an increase in shared ownership lending.
First and second charges
Separately, the gross loan book for first charge residential mortgages, under the Kent Reliance brand, increased by 14 per cent to £1.9bn.
The brand primarily serves prime credit borrowers with complex circumstances.
It saw record levels of originations as it retained its presence in the shared ownership market, totalling £558.2m in the year, up from £338.7m.
Prestige Finance, OSB’s second charge mortgage brand, no longer offers new mortgages and its loan book in run-off is managed by Precise Mortgages.
Precise offers second charge mortgages under the CCFS umbrella and the loan book had a gross value of £224.7m for 2021, a decline on the previous year’s £295.4m.
Due to its performance, the group announced it would increase in the full year 2021 ordinary dividend payout ratio to 30 per cent.
Golding added: “I am extremely proud of the operational and financial performance of OSB Group in 2021, delivering record profits, whilst proving once again the resilience of our strategy and business model against the backdrop of the pandemic.”
Bridging is the ‘most diverse and growing area in financial services’ – Precise Mortgages
Speaking to Specialist Lending Solutions, Precise Mortgages’ head of bridging Richard Lawton (pictured) said that overall, the bridging sector was back to pre-pandemic levels in terms of criteria and loan to value (LTV), which were reined in during the pandemic.
Lawton explained that during the pandemic, although the bridging market had “fared well”, criteria and LTVs were restricted due to “unprecedented times of uncertainty”. He added that this was especially the case for bridging as it had a more “risk-based lending approach”.
He added: “The exit in bridging is usually sale or refinance and during the pandemic nobody knew how these would be affected and if timescales could be increased.
“People saw their costs spiraling due to the cost of materials increasing and there was uncertainty as to whether trades people would be available or allowed into peoples’ properties during the lockdowns.”
He noted that now optimism was growing amongst lenders, and several were looking to expand offerings further. This included Precise Mortgages and Lawton hinted that there would be a number of key developments to its proposition in the coming year.
“The bridging sector is the most diverse and growing area in financial services so I believe we will see an increase in lenders in the sector. I see that as a positive – a massive positive. An increase in competition is good for the sector, the more lenders and even brokers that come into the space,” Lawton said.
He said areas of opportunity for bridging lenders included private landlords and property developers using bridging finance to acquire and develop properties either for sale or to retain in the portfolio.
Lawton said Precise Mortgages was already seeing increased demand from landlords and property developers for bridging finance and added that changes to permitted development rights would allow “further redevelopment of high streets and change of use from commercial to residential”.
“The housing market is seeing an increase in demand for private buy-to-lets and with the lack of properties being built the need for bridging is going to be more important,” he noted.
He added that sustainability and energy efficient homes were a “hot topic” and said bridging could be increasingly used to refurbish homes to improve energy efficiency. Lawton said this would apply to both the owner-occupied and buy-to-let markets.
Lawton said economic uncertainty in the coming year due to rising inflation, cost of living and ongoing consequences from the conflict in Ukraine presented a challenge for the bridging market.
He explained that especially given economic uncertainty, applicants should go into a transaction with an idea of costs, especially as these could increase.
“We have seen situations in the past where they [applicants] have refurbished a property and we were told costs would be £20,000 and due to the increased costs of raw materials that has quickly grown to £25,000 and £30,000. It is a consideration as to whether the applicant and broker have factored in those additional costs into the transaction to see if it is still financially viable for their clients to proceed,” he said.
‘Biggest elephant in the room is that bridging is expensive’
Lawton said bridging finance was a solution brokers should “keep in mind” as it was diverse, and the experience of specialist lenders meant the market would assist customers with wide-ranging financial requirements.
“Lots of brokers realise the benefits of having bridging in their armory, they will see the competitive advantage they have over other brokers who do not utilise or want to use bridging,” he said.
However, he added that there were misconceptions about bridging finance, with the main one being that it was expensive.
“The biggest elephant in the room is that bridging is expensive, which is mainly from brokers or borrowers who haven’t used it before or may have had negative experiences in the past,” he said.
Lawton said the bridging market had “evolved and developed immensely” over the past decade and had “moved from a niche product offering to become more mainstream”.
Precise Mortgages entered the market in 2010, with the aim of improving standards and increasing transparency according to Lawton.
It did this by offering documentation which detailed overall costs, and introduced charging interest on the net advance retained or rolled up interest as opposed to on the gross advanced. This meant that additional interest on top of loan interest was not charged, which Lawton said was “cheaper and fairer for the applicant overall”.
He added that overall, the vast majority of lenders in the space were charging interest fairly to customers.
Lawton called for more education and communication about bridging finance as a solution, and said that partnership with specialist brokers and packagers could help some brokers become more comfortable with it.
He said: “More open communication is needed between all parties, whether that is the applicant, broker, lender or solicitor, the better the communication the smoother and quicker the transaction will complete.
“Not all transactions are what is perceived as ‘vanilla’, there will always be some quirks and issues, but the sooner we know about them the better and we can try and find a solution for the finance request.”
He said the bridging team at Precise Mortgages had a combined 350 years working in the industry so it was likely that the “quirk” would have been seen before and the lender would be able to help.
Top 10 most read broker stories this week – 25/02/22
The announcement that specialist lenders, OSB Group, was combining its Precise Mortgages and Kent Reliance for Intermediaries’ sales teams, and an update from Criteria Brain were also among the most read stories of the week.
Crucial for brokers to have an equity release plan ‒ analysis
Limited company lending – why such a niche? – JLM
Landlords with ‘string of properties’ not included in Building Safety Bill – Gove
Later life mortgage lending hits high of £28.1bn
Asking prices rise by record levels in February – Rightmove
Criteria Brain reaches 88 lender milestone
Estate agent comparison firm to move into broker market
Fear of rejection is barrier to mortgage application for ‘non vanilla’ customers
OSB Group to merge Precise and Kent Reliance sales teams
Property shortage and market buoyancy driving high net worth demand – Marketwatch
OSB Group to merge Precise and Kent Reliance sales teams
The teams will be brought together in the second quarter of this year and will house 16 business development managers (BDM).
The move, according to the group, will provide a “more efficient service to brokers” as the team will be able to leverage both lenders more effectively.
In addition to the BDM team, there will be seven specialist finance account managers to specialise in bridging and commercial sectors via Interbay and Precise Mortgages.
There will also be 10 office-based BDMs who will support brokers using telephone, video conferencing and webchat. It builds on the existing support offered by the sales development team, which is headed by Simon Cockerill.
The changes will allow brokers to contact in their preferred method of communication.
Adrian Moloney (pictured), group intermediary director at OSB Group, said: “The combination of two award-winning sales teams is the next exciting step in the evolution of OSB Group and all part of our goal of providing best-in-class levels of service and support.
“One of the things we’ve learnt from the pandemic is that brokers want to be able to contact us in a variety of ways. We’ve embraced new technologies wholeheartedly over the past couple of years, so as well as face-to-face visits, brokers can speak with us via a telephone call or video call if they prefer.”
Precise Mortgages and Sancus hire BDMs – roundup
Williams was previously a BDM for Keystone Property Finance for just under a year, and before that was at Black Book Finance for nearly four years in both commercial finance broker and BDM roles.
Prior to that he was a BDM at Enterprise Financial for nearly two years, and has also held roles at Diligenta, 425 Financial Solutions and RBS.
In his role he will support brokers in Bristol, Cardiff, Dudley, Gloucester, Hereford, Newport, Oxford, Swansea, Taunton and the Worcester areas.
James Forth, Precise Mortgages’ national sales manager, added: “I’m delighted that Ross has chosen to join us. He’s an exciting new addition to a team which is renowned for being one of the most experienced and knowledgeable in the industry.
“His previous roles and experience will stand him in good stead for developing broker relationships, as well as keeping them up-to-date about the latest solutions that Precise Mortgages can offer.”
Sancus appoints BDM from Together
Bridging lender Sancus has appointed Steve Darbyshire as BDM, continuing its growth strategy which saw its team double in size last year.
He previously worked at Together as a regional development director for more than two years, and before that was a broker development manager at Natwest. Darbyshire also worked at Royal Bank of Scotland as a relationship manager for over two years.
Richard Whitehouse, Sancus’ UK sales director, said: “Steven makes another valuable, experienced addition to our business development team and I am delighted to welcome him to the group.
“He brings with him extensive knowledge of short-term property lending, a large network of contacts with whom he has a fantastic reputation and a pro-active attitude, he will fit in well with our growth plans in the coming years.”