CHL could be set for lending return

Sam Cordon

October 3, 2013

The Irish Times reports that PTSB is seeking to sell the platform behind CHL which is currently closed for new business.

While the Irish Times story suggests the CHL book is in wind-down, Mortgage Introducer is led to believe this is actually the catalyst to a return to new lending for the Fleet-based business.

The Irish Times also listed apparent losses for CHL which it says totalled some £78.2m in 2012.

However the loss detailed in the CHL accounts is actually the cost of funds on the existing book and is believed to be a Permanent TSB issue rather than one for CHL.

CHL Mortgages were not available to comment on the story however a source close to the business, said: “This is actually very positive and exciting news for CHL and is effectively a very strong signal that it will begin lending again in the not too distant future.

“I suspect the management team are particularly happy this is now out in the open, that they are looking to secure the operation and they can work towards originating quality business again.

“You have to remember that its core market was, and is, buy-to-let so they will be very keen to lend again soon given the market demand for these types of mortgages and the reputation they have for innovation in that specialist market.”

CHL, which withdrew from new lending in March 2008, currently manages 40,000 live mortgage accounts and a return to lending from the buy-to-let specialist would be welcomed by the market.

It was also confirmed that any return to lending would see CHL continue to distribute through intermediary channels.

Our source said: “I think it’s good news for the intermediary sector as they will distribute solely through that channel and will add considerably to the competition in the buy-to-let market.

“Brokers will be getting back a lender that is completely engaged with them. CHL have a very experienced management team who know the intermediary market inside out plus they are known to be a strong responsible lender with good processes.

“They will be a very welcome re-entrant to the market and let’s hope this process can be completed quickly and we can have that brand back lending again.”

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