A&L to enter specialist markets

Ramesh Sharma

March 4, 2006

Following mounting speculation that the lender would be entering the non-conforming sector, A&L confirmed its intentions to enter into the niche market areas after its 2005 results announcement.

Mehrdad Yousefi, head of intermediary mortgages at A&L, said: “Our plan is to offer the specialist mortgages through intermediaries who will bring further experience and expertise to the mix. We are responding to customer needs and our entry into these markets will help brokers offer good value mortgages to their clients. Although they may not be suitable for all borrowers, this move should help to meet the growing demand for these products.”

Duncan Berry, director, first mortgage sales, GE Money Home Lending, said the proposition to enter into the niche markets made good business sense. He said: “Alliance & Leicester is a well-known brand with an established intermediary business, it therefore makes sense for it to explore specialist lending opportunities though this channel. To see yet another mainstream lender enter the market is further proof of its continued growth potential. It will need to focus on service, flexibility and innovation if it is to attract non-conforming intermediaries.”

John Mawdsley, director at The Mortgage Partnership, said: “The two main questions are if they have the funding and the underwriters in place. If you don’t have underwriters experienced in non-conforming, you will find it difficult to train and convert underwriters with 10 years experience writing prime business. Even someone like BM would have had problems at the start with this.”

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