West One Loans cuts second charge rates and ups maximum loan
Within its Apex 0 range for borrowers with good credit profiles, maximum loans have increased from £100,000 to £250,000 at the 70 per cent loan to value (LTV) lending tier.
The lender has also cut rates in this range by up to 0.30 per cent at 75 per cent LTV, and five-year fixed rates now range from 4.05 per cent to 4.65 per cent.
For the Apex 1 products, available to borrowers with a history of credit issues, rates at 75 per cent LTV have been reduced and start from 5.55 per cent.
At the same lending tier, buy-to-let second charge mortgages have seen reductions of up to 0.50 per cent and start from 5.99 per cent.
West One Loans now only requires a minimum mortgage history of 12 months, down from 24 months.
Furthermore, the lender will accept applications from borrowers on zero hour contracts and DSS tenants will be accepted on the second charge buy-to-let range.
Marie Grundy (pictured), managing director of second charges at West One Loans, said: “These changes reflect our commitment to continuing to support the second charge market by providing broker partners with an even more compelling second charge proposition.
“With more firms and customers adapting to more fluid working arrangements we are confident these changes will help to provide greater flexibility when dealing with West One.”
West One agrees first mortgage club distribution deal with Dynamo
The move is the lender’s first step into the networks and mortgage club sector which it sees as a key growth strategy for 2021, and expands on its master broker channel.
The deal opens West One’s buy-to-let (BTL) product range to networks and mortgage clubs.
Dynamo for Intermediaries has a base of more than 3,000 intermediary members across the UK.
Founder Ying Tan said: “West One has a strong BTL proposition and demand for its offering has been increasing, so the addition of the club route is extremely welcome.
Andrew Ferguson, managing director of buy to let at West One, said the move was a really important step for West One’s buy to let offering which it has high growth aspirations for in 2021.
“Extending our distribution through mortgage clubs and networks will support that strategy, and Dynamo for Intermediaries is a perfect partner to start that extension with,” he said.
“Dynamo for Intermediaries already works with us on a packager basis and so extending our partnership to include a club route allows us to work even more closely, and ensures brokers have choice on the most appropriate submission route for their needs.
“We look forward to working with Ying Tan, his team and Dynamo’s members going forward into a successful 2021.”
West One parent company Enra completes first securitisation
The transaction comprises a £267.8m portfolio held by West One Loans.
For its initial securitisation called Elstree Funding No.1, Enra said it received substantial demand from pre-placement orders before the deal was publicly launched.
As the group plans to come to market annually as a programmatic issuer, it has held back around £50m of bonds for public sale.
Its programmatic status will mean its bonds are certified from the first issuance, avoiding the need to go through the certification process for each bond, it said.
Overall, the deal was launched and priced within a week.
Emily Gestetner, chief finance officer of Enra, said: “I am delighted to have priced Enra’s first securitisation.
“In a matter of weeks, we have planned and executed a great transaction in challenging market conditions given the backdrop of the pandemic and Brexit.”
She added: “While we are relatively recent entrants to the second charge and buy-to-let markets, our heritage as a specialist lender goes back many years, and I believe the fact we have been trading for over a decade as a prudent, well capitalised and profitable lending business was key to attracting such strong demand for our first residential mortgage backed securities deal.”
West One relaunches second charge and BTL ranges with criteria changes
Loans of £250,000 will be accepted up to 75 per cent loan to value (LTV).
The lender will accept applications from furloughed employees who are going back to work on the same salary and hours as they were contracted before the pandemic, at up to 65 per cent LTV.
Borrowers who have taken payment holidays but are no longer freezing payments will also be considered.
At the same time, West One has improved its self-employed criteria by reducing its minimum time trading from three years to two years.
The lender has also opened-up its overall buy-to-let range. The range is available to landlords who have taken a payment holiday as long as normal payments have resumed and at least two payments have now been made.
Its maximum buy-to-let LTV has been increased from 70 per cent to 75 per cent LTV.
The maximum loan size has been raised from £750,000 to £1m.
All rates have been reduced by up to 65 basis points and now start at 3.59 per cent for standard product residential deals and 3.79 per cent on specialist products.
West One’s standard and specialist buy-to-let products are available to first-time and experienced landlords, where the applicant owns their own residential property.
Marie Grundy, sales director for West One (pictured), said: “These major enhancements to both our second charge residential and buy-to-let product ranges represent our most significant set of changes since the onset of lockdown.
“They also underline our commitment to the second-charge market at a time when products are in shorter supply.”
Specialist lenders have begun to re-enter the market as funders grow in confidence.
Last week, Fleet Mortgages cut rates across its standard, limited company and houses of multiple occupation (HMO) ranges after getting the green light from its financial backers.
Meanwhile, Foundation Home Loans has raised £350m in its latest securitisation deal.
The lender now has more than £1bn in warehouse funding in place to cover its lending targets over the next 12 months.
West One reintroduces BTL second charges and opens criteria
The new buy-to-let range is available to capital and interest and interest-only borrowers, with rates starting from 6.49 per cent and a maximum loan to value of 65 per cent.
Loans are available from £10,000 to £250,000, but are only for individual landlords.
It is also increasing its support for self-employed borrowers by lifting the maximum LTV to 75 per cent, and AVMs will be available up to 65 per cent LTV on Apex 1 plans.
Restrictions on acceptable loan purposes have also been removed with products to repay current performing individual voluntary agreements (IVA) and debt management plans (DMPs) available.
West One said the changes aimed to make lending more accessible and support brokers when the market has seen a shift in access to lending and an increased feeling of uncertainty about the future.
Commitment to brokers
Marie Grundy (pictured), sales director for West One, said she was pleased West One had continued to support the second charge market during the turbulent times.
“This latest set of changes validates our commitment to our broker partners seeking to support those customers who are able to demonstrate long term affordability,” she said.
“We have always looked for opportunities to provide access to products for underserved borrowers, with our buy-to-let second charge range being a great example of this, but this takes on increased significance at a time when product options across the sector are in shorter supply.”
CSC Loans managing director Mark Fry added: “The changes West One have made are extremely positive which will create more opportunities for homeowners and landlords to access second charge finance at a time when product availability is restricted.
“It is even more impressive that as a non-bank lender West One have been at the forefront of specialist lending during these exceptional times, and continue to deliver innovative and well-designed products to meet the needs of a wider range of borrowers.”
West One Loans joins IMLA
The body now has 43 member banks, building societies and specialist lenders, with Legal & General Home Finance the last institution to join earlier this year.
Last week IMLA warned that non-bank lenders, who are highly active in the specialist lending sector, needed government support or were at risk of being unable to support forbearance schemes such as mortgage payment holidays.
It is one of a group of trade bodies to have proposed various solutions to the government and Bank of England to support non-bank funding as the capital markets have all but closed.
Working through this difficult time
West One Loans managing director for buy to let Andrew Ferguson (pictured) will represent the lender at IMLA’s executive committee meetings. He said the firm was very pleased to be joining the association.
“As new members of IMLA we look forward to working alongside the IMLA team, its members and partners through a very difficult time and into the years beyond,” he said.
“We are excited to share knowledge and expertise and are totally committed to supporting the mortgage intermediary market across our varied product range.”
IMLA executive director Kate Davies, said the body was pleased to be adding West One to its membership.
“These are certainly highly unusual times for the mortgage market in light of the disruption caused by coronavirus, but IMLA is continuing to grow and now represents 43 lenders from across the sector,” she said.
“From second charge mortgages to development finance and buy-to-let, West One Loans will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the association as our members work together through the current crisis and beyond.”
West One Loans recruits national account manager
Tilbury (pictured) joins from Foundation Home Loans, where she held the same role. She previously spent 23 years at CHL, which the firm said had given her an extensive knowledge of the mortgage industry, as well as experience of sales, underwriting and asset management.
Her role will see her work closely with key intermediaries and packager partners.
Andrew Ferguson, managing director of buy to let at West One, said Tilbury was well known and respected among packagers for her “tenacious and customer-focused approach” and argued she was the ideal person to support the lender’s growth plans for this year.
“We are already working closely with some master broker partners and Annette’s role will enable us to further enhance our support to those firms as well as helping us gear up for future growth,” he concluded.
Record month for West One Loans
The lender handed out more than £79m in short-term bridging loans, with its second charge, development finance and specialist buy to let loans making up the rest.
West One’s completions in the month were worth around £80m.
The lender also highlighted plans to “significantly enhance” its broker portal platform on second charge loans, following on from hitting £100m of completions in October, as well as the strength of its buy-to-let pipeline, with applications and offers worth more than £50m.
Danny Waters (pictured), chief executive officer of the lender’s parent firm Enra Group, said that it was “particularly pleasing” that the performance was driven by its “long-established” products like bridging.
He added: “In the face of continuing Brexit uncertainty West One’s credit appetite remains cautious, but by focusing on our distribution relationships and great customer service we’re continuing to see business come in at record levels.”
West One Loans adds account manager for London
In his new role, Khan will be tasked with growing and servicing key accounts in London, educating brokers on the specialist buy-to-let sector.
He joins from Aldermore Bank where he was relationship manager covering the London region, a role where he was responsible for building awareness of the brand and its products.
Khan was previously national account manager at State Bank of India.
Andrew Ferguson, managing director of buy to let at the lender, said: “We’ve had significant interest in our products and we’re building a good pipeline, and Amir’s appointment comes as we prepare to scale up even further.
“With more additions to the team planned for the weeks and months ahead, we are in a good position to deliver our growth plans for 2020.”
West One appoints Ferguson as BTL managing director
He was previously attached to the company on a consultancy basis to advise on its new BTL products, but has now taken on a permanent contract to head the department. His role includes responsibility for the distribution, sales management, proposition and marketing of the specialist product range.
Stephen Wasserman, managing director of West One Loans, said: “As our most recent product launch, we want to make an impact on this market, which makes the expertise of people like Andrew critical to our future success. Andrew’s experience perfectly equips him to lead this business.”
Ferguson joined West One Loans following senior roles in the BTL mortgage sector at Kent Reliance, Axis Bank – where he set up the BTL lending service – and most recently as commercial director at Foundation Home Loans.
Ferguson added: “I am excited to embark on my new role with West One Loans. It’s a chance to help grow a business in what is a competitive and dynamic market.
“We’ve already started strongly and taken on feedback from our launch partners to make enhancements to our lending criteria, so we can help even more of their clients.”
In June, West One Loans introduced a range of first charge BTL mortgage products, with Ferguson brought on board to steer the portfolio.
The standard and specialist ranges have been available through selected intermediaries Enterprise Finance and Vantage Finance, as well as Brightstar, Dynamo and Connect for Intermediaries.