Secure Trust Bank has entered the UK mortgage market targeting underserved borrowers such as the self-employed.
The mortgage division will be headed by managing director Esther Morley (pictured), who joined the bank 12 months ago after working at Kensington Group, Start Mortgages, Investec and HSBC.
The bank’s distribution is currently exclusive to members of the Mortgage Advice Bureau network, though it plans to roll out its products to other intermediaries after the launch period.
Esther Morley, managing director of Secure Trust Bank Mortgages, said: “There are millions of people looking to get themselves on the property ladder, move home or find a better deal with a new mortgage provider.
“Our offering will serve customers who don’t fit the criteria of traditional lenders. We completely understand the finance problems our customers face and will work in partnership with Mortgage Advice Bureau to ensure we are placing more complex cases easily.
“We will stand out from others in the market by providing an exemplary service with smart operating systems that will be fine-tuned to respond faster and make everybody’s life much easier.
“The team will be committed to offering bespoke services with a personal touch, and this will move us one step closer to becoming Britain’s best bank.”
The bank will provide loans up to £2m and 80% loan-to-value, while it will offer 2, 3 and 5-year fixes.
Office for National Statistics data shows there are over 5.5 million workers either self-employed or on zero-hours contracts alone in the UK, which the banks said demonstrated the potential size of this market.
The bank moved onto the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market in October 2016, where the company was valued at £427.5m.
The bank made £129.1m of profit after tax in the first half of 2016.
Paul Lynam, group chief executive at Secure Trust Bank, said: “As one of the most strongly capitalised banks in the UK, Secure Trust Bank is very well positioned to progress our entry into the mortgages market as part of our long term diversification strategy.
“Enabled by a state-of-the-art operating platform and good old fashioned personal service delivered by skilled humans, not machines, we will strive to support creditworthy customers as they seek to buy new homes or remortgage.”
Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Secure Trust Bank at the outset of their launch in the UK mortgage market.
“Secure Trust Bank’s primary offering will be targeted at the demographic other high street lenders would term as ‘niche’ and generally choose to shy away from, however this is a highly valuable area of the market which requires pragmatic solutions.
“Therefore, the entry of Secure Trust Bank into this sector, along with others, provides much needed competition and choice for consumers, and we’re very much looking forward to working with them.”