Hampshire Trust Bank will launch into the commercial and buy-to-let mortgage sectors this year after making two high profile appointments.
Colin Bell has taken the role of managing director of commercial mortgages, leaving his previous job as director of products and new business at Kent Reliance, InterBay Commercial and Prestige, all part of OneSavings Bank.
Anna Lewis meanwhile has joined as head of production after leaving as sales manager at InterBay Commercial where she worked with Bell.
The challenger bank plans to focus on supporting UK SMEs before launching into other specialist mortgage lending lines.
Mark Sismey-Durrant, chief executive at Hampshire Trust Bank, said: “We believe there are a wealth of opportunities available to us in the commercial and buy-to-let mortgage sectors.
“As a new challenger bank, we do not have the legacy issues experienced by some of the older banks, we are able to offer the flexible financing solutions and specialist expertise that British businesses and buy-to-let investors need in order to grow.
“Key to Hampshire Trust Bank’s successful progress is its specialist staff. We are delighted to welcome Colin and Anna on board and are looking forward to continuing to grow the commercial mortgage team over the coming year and beyond.”
Hampshire Trust Bank was established in Fareham, Hampshire, in 1977 and acquired in May 2014 by a new management team.
Bell said: “The SME lending market remains underserved by true specialist lenders, which made this an opportunity I relished.
“I found the business culture, attitude and approach an ideal fit and am looking forward to developing the products, teams and distribution channels to ensure we have a successful launch and provide a positive contribution to the already successful bank.”
And Lewis said: “This is a great time to join and be a part of a successful specialist bank, with the opportunity to set up and grow the commercial and buy-to-let department,”
“I am also delighted to be back working alongside Colin, who I have worked with for many years. We are both looking forward to the challenge and are ready to hit the ground running.”