UTB responds to increased demand with three hires

UTB responds to increased demand with three hires

UTB has hired Daniel Carlisle (pictured, right) as its senior director of property development and both Sean Skelt (pictured, left) and Gary Hunt (pictured, middle) as managers of property development. 

Carlisle has more than 25 years of experience in real estate banking and joins from Investec, where he worked for 17 years. He was also at Natwest and RBS in the residential development, commercial real estate, build to rent and prime housing divisions. 

As the senior director of property development at UTB, Carlisle will support housebuilders and developers across London and the South of England with development finance and exit solutions. 

Hunt has joined from Close Brothers Property Finance, where he was a senior property manager. He has worked in the banking sector for nearly 25 years, and will work closely with senior director Paul Flannery at UTB to support his existing clients and introduce new housebuilders and developers. 

Skelt has worked in the property finance sector in roles relating to structuring and managing residential and commercial investment loans, new build and permitted development rights residential schemes. 

He joins from Arbuthnot Latham, where he worked for four years, most recently as a commercial banker for real estate. He was also at Metro Bank in various commercial banking roles. 

At UTB, Skelt will build relationships with housebuilders and developers across Greater London and the South of England. 

Adam Bovingdon, head of property development at UTB, said: “We’ve had a busy year so far, with credit approvals of almost half a billion pounds in the first six months of 2024. With economic indicators improving, we expect housebuilders and developers to approach the future with growing confidence and for activity to increase still further.

“I am delighted to welcome Daniel, Gary and Sean to UTB as they join an extensive team of skilled and experienced lending directors and managers supporting housebuilders and developers across the country with a variety of dependable development finance and developer exit solutions.” 

Earlier this year, UTB launched a block discounting service to help fund non-bank lenders.

UTB introduces second charge binding offers; Pepper launches e-signatures – round-up

UTB introduces second charge binding offers; Pepper launches e-signatures – round-up

The lender aims to reduce the application to offer time by five days by giving borrowers a binding offer with special conditions. 

UTB said first mortgage lenders sometimes placed a restriction at the Land Registry, which is required for consent to be given before a second charge loan can be offered. The lender said this was usually delayed and was often the only outstanding action on an application. 

However, issuing an offer without consent or without a special condition for consent could put a borrower in breach of their first charge mortgage and deliver a bad outcome, the lender said. 

UTB’s binding offers with special conditions are applicable against non-affordability linked requirements, which allows the requirements to be provided after an offer has been issued and before completion. 

This can be used when the first charge lender has given consent to a second charge, where there are up to date redemption figures and in circumstances where bank details for items of debt consolidation have been provided. 

This can also apply where there is a deed of consent for non-dependent residents. 

UTB said feedback from a pilot of the policy resulted in a five-day reduction in the application time to offer. 

Buster Tolfree, director of mortgages at UTB, said: “We entered the second charge market to shake it up, and nearly 10 years on, we’re still innovating and improving to grow the market and help our brokers complete more business.

“Speed to offer and completion is probably the most important success factor in a second charge loan application. Reducing a customer’s wait for a binding offer by five days is a huge reduction, and what we have seen in the pilot is that the reduced delay significantly increases the possibility that the loan will complete.” 

He added: “Both we and brokers waste less time on abandoned cases and are more productive and profitable as a result. And customers get their money quickly to crack on with their home improvements or alleviate their debt worries. It’s a real win-win-win.” 

Earlier this month, UTB launched product transfer options for select loans.


Pepper Money brings in e-signatures for second charge

Pepper Money has updated its process to allow e-signatures on second charge offer documents. 

This will include the mortgage deed and is expected to speed up the overall process. 

The lender said it would allow eligible borrowers to receive an offer immediately and reduce the time it takes for a mortgage deed to be completed and returned. 

Pepper Money said this would also prevent circumstances where borrowers do not return all the required documentation or return it incomplete. 

Ryan McGrath, second charge sales director at Pepper Money, said: “The launch of e-signatures further enhances Pepper Money’s market-leading second charge mortgage proposition, making the process quicker and easier for brokers and customers.

“It also delivers a number of less-obvious advantages. By reducing printing and postage, e-signatures will further strengthen Pepper’s ESG credentials by reducing our carbon footprint, and a more digital process will also enable us to invest more resources in further elevating the service we provide our partners.

“Consistently delivering outstanding service is a core focus for us at Pepper Money, which is why we choose to work with a select number of intermediary partners with whom we can build a close working relationship to ensure the best possible customer results.” 

UTB launches ‘industry first’ PT for seconds; Castle Trust adds flexible bridge – round-up

UTB launches ‘industry first’ PT for seconds; Castle Trust adds flexible bridge – round-up

UTB will offer a proc fee of 0.4 per cent for a residential product transfer and one per cent for second charge. 

The specialist lender’s two-year fixed residential rates start from 6.99 per cent, while five-year fixes begin from 7.09 per cent. 

The second charge two-year fixed rates start from 7.39 per cent and five-year fixes from 6.79 per cent. 

Both options have a £995 product fee. 

The product transfers are currently available, and advisers can apply on behalf of clients through the UTB portal. 

Advisers can also submit an enquiry on the lender’s website with the customer’s details, which UTB will assess and provide potential options for. 

Buster Tolfree (pictured), director of mortgages at UTB, said: “We recognise how important it is for brokers to be able to give their customers certainty and peace of mind as they approach the end of their initial fixed rate period. We are delighted to launch these new product transfer options for UTB customers, especially our industry-first second charge product transfer. 

“Furthermore, at 0.4 per cent for first charges and one per cent for seconds, the commissions we’re paying on product transfers are very much at the upper end of the market – proof yet again that we’re keen to look after our brokers when doing a great job for our shared customers.” 

Earlier in the year, UTB slashed bridging rates and lowered the minimum loan size.


Castle Trust Bank launches bridging solution 

Castle Trust Bank has brought out a bridging loan for borrowers who are nearing the end of a fixed rate or existing bridging finance but are waiting to move onto a buy-to-let (BTL) deal. 

The lender said it could help investors who were reluctant to move onto a fixed rate in case interest rates rose. Castle Trust Bank said it would also be of use to borrowers who want to build up a letting track record on the investment property before committing to a long-term loan, as some lenders request a minimum of 12 months of borrowing history before offering terms.  

The product has a term of 12 months with serviced interest at a reduced rate of 0.52 per cent per month, equivalent to an annual rate of 6.24 per cent. Early repayment charges (ERCs) apply for three months.  

Access to the product is available to investors from day one.

Investors can borrow up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV), and the maximum LTV is available where the interest is rolled up. A 5.5 per cent arrangement fee applies, and there is no exit fee. 

The product is available to investors who want to borrow more from day one. 

Anna Lewis, commercial director at Castle Trust Bank, said: “Bridge the Gap is a product that specifically addresses a growing demand that brokers are seeing for bridging finance that can buy property investors time whilst they wait in hope that rates will continue to fall in the next year. 

“By introducing a 12-month bridge loan with a reduced interest rate, increased arrangement fee and no exit fee, we can provide investors with the flexibility that they need to best manage the rate cycle. If investors have tenants currently paying rent, they could opt to service the loan payments instead of rolling the interest, as the monthly payments on Bridge the Gap are more affordable, aligning with rates currently available in the BTL market.”

United Trust Bank revamps BTL offering; CHL trims rates – round-up

United Trust Bank revamps BTL offering; CHL trims rates – round-up

After a reduction of 1.3 per cent, United Trust Bank (UTB) rates now start as low as 5.34 per cent which applies to its two-year fix for standard properties. Meanwhile, the equivalent five-year fixed rates begin from 5.74 per cent. 

For specialist houses in multiple occupation (HMO) and multi-unit blocks (MUB), two-year fixed rates begin from 5.44 per cent and five-year fixes from 5.89 per cent. Its two-year fixed holiday let rates start from 6.97 per cent, and five-year fixes from 7.2 per cent. 

UTB has also reduced its ICR to 125 per cent for basic rate taxpayers and limited companies or 130 per cent for mixed tax band paying applicants. 

Its maximum LTV has been raised to 80 per cent. 

Caroline Mirakian (pictured), sales and marketing director – mortgages at United Trust Bank, said: “We’re responding to increasing confidence in the buy-to-let sector by slashing rates and making it easier for landlords to access great value specialist buy-to-let mortgages. We lend on many property types and construction styles mainstream lenders won’t with no minimum on personal income and no credit scoring. 

“Our lower ICRs and increased maximum LTV are great news for landlords who want to take advantage of the sustained demand for rental properties and retain as much of their cash as they can to invest in developing their portfolios.”

She added: “If brokers need convincing that UTB wants to do a lot of BTL business this year, this should do the trick.” 


CHL Mortgages lowers pricing 

Specialist buy-to-let lender CHL Mortgages has reduced rates across its CHL 2 range by up to 0.78 per cent. 

The CHL 2 range has flexible criteria for complex client and property types, including standard, small and large HMO and MUB, short-term lets and light refurbishment. These are open to individual and limited company borrowers. 

The five-year fixed rates begin from 4.62 per cent at 70 per cent LTV with a seven per cent fee on a standard buy-to-let property. This goes up to 4.65 per cent for a small HMO or MUB and 4.8 per cent for a large HMO or MUB. 

Rates on the light refurbishment range begin from 4.67 per cent for a five-year fixed standard buy-to-let up to 70 per cent LTV with a five per cent fee. The rate comes to 4.7 per cent for a small HMO or MUB. 

Across its two-year fixes, CHL 2 rates start from five per cent for a standard buy-to-let at 70 per cent LTV with a five per cent fee. 

Pricing for short-term let deals has been reduced to 5.08 per cent for a two-year fix with a five per cent fee. 

At 75 per cent LTV, rates begin from 5.61 per cent for a five-year fix with a three per cent fee, for a standard buy-to-let. 

Product fees for CHL 2 are available in two per cent, three per cent, five per cent and seven per cent options. 

Ross Turrell, commercial director at CHL Mortgages, said: “Our CHL 2 product range has been designed to offer broader criteria options for landlords with more complex situations and as swap rates continue to stabilise, we are pleased to introduce lower-priced products.” 

United Trust Bank secures additional £100m facility with BBB

United Trust Bank secures additional £100m facility with BBB

This adds on to the £250m transaction agreed in April 2021, making it a total of £350m. 

The British Business Bank’s ENABLE Build programme aims to support the provision of development finance for SMEs.  

So far, it has allowed UTB to issue more than £830m to smaller housebuilders. This additional fund will support a further £700m in finance and the development of around 3,800 new homes across England and Wales. 

Reinald de Monchy, managing director, guarantee and wholesale solutions at British Business Bank, said: “We are delighted to have agreed an increase to this ENABLE Build facility, which further strengthens our commitment to helping unlock finance for smaller housebuilders.  

“This increase will allow UTB to supply even more development finance loans to help housebuilders deliver homes and create more jobs to boost the UK economy.” 

Adam Bovingdon (pictured), head of property development at United Trust Bank, said: “Our relationship with the British Business Bank and our involvement in the ENABLE Build Guarantee programme has helped us to provide SME housebuilders with the funding they need to create thousands of new homes, often during challenging economic periods. 

“UTB is committed to supporting the resurgence of the SME housebuilding sector and this additional £100m guarantee will be set to work straightaway.” 

UTB’s Mollett embarks on ‘toughest footrace on Earth’ for charity

UTB’s Mollett embarks on ‘toughest footrace on Earth’ for charity

Described as ‘the toughest footrace on Earth’, the six-day marathon is 250km and takes place in the Sahara Desert in temperatures of 40 to 50 degrees centigrade. Mollett and his fellow competitors must carry their belongings during the race and have a venom pump to hand. 

The marathon is being held in April next year. 

Mollett will be raising money for the South East Cancer Help Centre and Wings for Life, a charity which funds research into cures for spinal cord injuries. He has covered the cost of entering the event as well as travel expenses. This means any money raised will go directly to the charities. 

Mollett (pictured) said: “I’ve never run a 250km race before, let alone in these conditions, so this is going to be a real stretch for me. If anyone likes to see people well outside of their comfort zone and in discomfort as a trade-off for a decent sponsorship, this definitely qualifies. 

“Wings for Life and South East Cancer Help Centre are fantastic charities, and all the donations will help to improve the lives of those affected by spinal cord injuries, and provide support to cancer patients in the South East. Please donate generously so that I only have to do this once.” 

To sponsor Mollett please go to his fundraising page: https://www.givengain.com/project/nathan-raising-funds-for-2-causes-68044 

UTB mortgage loan book passes £1bn for first time

UTB mortgage loan book passes £1bn for first time

The specialist lender said it also expected its mortgages division to report a 24 per cent growth in new business this year. 

UTB launched in 2016 with a range of second charge mortgages and in 2020, expanded its offering to first charge products for purchase, remortgage and unencumbered properties. It later launched a specialist buy-to-let range in 2022. 

The lender appointed Caroline Mirakian as sales and marketing director – mortgages earlier this year, with an aim to build on its distribution focusing on clubs, networks and packagers. It is through its partnerships with intermediaries that the lender expects to see a growth in business. 

Buster Tolfree (pictured), director of mortgages at United Trust Bank, said: “This is a momentous milestone for the bank and a fantastic achievement for the mortgage team who, in my view, are one of the best in the industry. 

“We couldn’t have achieved £1bn without the support of our amazing broker partners. Many of them have helped us to develop our proposition along the way, testing new tech and processes and giving honest feedback. This collaboration and our commitment to continually improving mortgage journeys for brokers and customers have gained us some very good and loyal friends.”  

Tolfree added: “We have built our reputation on being a dependable specialist mortgage lender, that is happy to take a view on cases which fall outside of norm, and who is committed to supporting brokers through whatever the market and economy can throw at us. Although the outlook may be uncertain, we’re here for the long term and excited about what the future holds.” 

United Trust Bank makes rate reductions and amends offering

United Trust Bank makes rate reductions and amends offering

Rate reductions have been made to its residential, buy-to-let and second charge products.  

Residential rates now begin from 7.19 per cent for a two-year fixed product at 60 per cent loan to value (LTV). Meanwhile, its buy-to-let rates have been cut by as much as 0.3 per cent and start from 5.89 per cent for a two-year fix at 65 per cent LTV within its standard range. 

It has also expanded its buy-to-let range to include two, three, four and five per cent product fee options. 

UTB has launched lifetime tracker mortgages which start from 2.64 per cent above the base rate and are available on its purchase, remortgage, interest only, mortgage prisoner and unencumbered products. 

Its second charge lifetime tracker rates have also been cut by up to 0.75 per cent and now start from 3.14 per cent above the base rate. 

Buster Tolfree (pictured), director of mortgages at UTB, said: “It’s not easy out there for brokers at the moment and we’re always looking for ways to support our introducers and help them to keep writing business. 

“Although some stability has returned to the mortgage market, inflation is still high and the outlook for the economy and the residential property market remains uncertain. At times like these brokers want to know that they can rely on their lenders to stand by them and do what they can to give them options. Expanding our range and reducing our interest rates is good news for brokers and their clients.” 

He added: “UTB is an agile and dependable, through the cycle lender, committed to the specialist mortgage market for the long term.  

“This isn’t the first time the bank has had to navigate a challenging environment, and it probably won’t be the last, but we have continued to lend, to invest in great people and technology and created products brokers can confidently recommend to their customers.” 

United Trust Bank becomes first lender to sign up to Open Property Data Association

United Trust Bank becomes first lender to sign up to Open Property Data Association

Tolfree will sit on the member executive committee of the Open Property Data Association (OPDA). 

OPDA is a cross-industry trade association that aims to drive the creation and adoption of open property data to improve the home buying process. It was formed in June this year and is chaired by Maria Harris. 

As an executive member, UTB will give a lender technology and mortgage data perspective to the association to work towards developing future standards for specialist lending. 

Harris (pictured), chair of OPDA, said: “Announcing our first lender is an exciting and important milestone for the association. As we move towards upfront information becoming mandatory on property listings, ensuring that data is collected digitally and can be shared in a trust way with intermediaries and mortgage lenders will be critical for improving the whole process. 

“UTB’s approach to innovative thinking and the use of technology to create better experiences for their intermediaries and customers is well recognised across the industry so I’m delighted they’ve joined us at this pivotal time.” 

Tolfree added: “UTB has a reputation as one of the market’s leading specialist banks, and as such we welcome enhancements that simplify the application process for our brokers and customers and help mitigate credit and commercial risk.  

“Joining the OPDA, and being involved in opening up some of the traditional data-borders that have existed in the past, is therefore an easy decision to make.” 

United Trust Bank promotes Wakeford to head of unregulated underwriting in bridging department

United Trust Bank promotes Wakeford to head of unregulated underwriting in bridging department

Wakeford joined the lender in 2019 as its credit officer, a position she held for four years. 

She has almost 20 years of experience in the financial services sector including two years at Metro Bank as credit manager, and 10 years at RBS, most recently as associate director. Prior to this, she worked at HSBC, with her last role being commercial manager. 

In her new role, Wakeford will be responsible for managing underwriting in the unregulated bridging team and making sure brokers receive a good service.  

She will work alongside head of regulated underwriting, Becky Kidby; Anita Kirkbright, head of operations – bridging; Paula Purdy, head of sales – bridging; and Sundeep Patel, director of bridging, in developing and delivering the bank’s growth strategy across regulated and unregulated markets. 


UTB: ‘Pushing to the top of brokers’ consideration list’

Patel said: “Since joining the bank, Helen has proven to be a talented member of the credit team and her knowledge and experience made her the perfect choice for this new role. 

“Her appointment continues the ongoing restructuring of the bank’s bridging operations to ensure brokers receive the same high levels of service for regulated and unregulated bridging loan applications. We recognise that regulated and unregulated bridging require distinctly different skill sets and processes for underwriting and case management to meet brokers’ requirements for speed and efficiency. This new structure, together with our reputation for honouring our commitments and delivering what we promise, will push UTB to the top of many brokers’ consideration lists for a wide variety of bridging proposals.  

“Helen and Becky Kidby will work together to ensure UTB remains dominant in the regulated bridging sector whilst substantially developing our unregulated presence. We will show brokers that this new approach from UTB will deliver quick decisions and completions for every type of bridging loan they introduce to us.” 

Wakeford (pictured) added: “I am delighted to be joining UTB’s bridging finance team at this exciting time and I look forward to working with Sundeep, Becky, Anita and Paula as we grow UTB’s share of the unregulated and regulated bridging market.”