Unity looks at expanding proposition

Ramesh Sharma

April 8, 2006

Having admitted the lender is looking to launch into the buy-to-let market, Ian Nelson, chief executive at Unity Homeloans, confirmed it would look at other market areas, if it felt it could compete with what was already available from other lenders.

He said: “We would probably look to do business in the prime sector during our second year of trading, if anything. It all depends on supply and demand, and what people want. But at the moment we have not had many enquiries about developing a prime offer. To compete in that market would be pretty tough as most of the other lenders are big and well established, but if it was needed, or we felt we had a good proposition we would look at it. Self-cert is a more likely sector as it is something that is a niche part of the market.”

He added its relationship with Professional Mortgage Packagers Alliance (PMPA) meant that Unity would only move into other market areas if there was a distinct need or demand from its members.

Paul Hearnden, managing director at My Mortgage Direct, said any new player would have to provide something different to what was already available in the mortgage market. He said: “If there is a degree of flexibility with the offer and underwriting criteria then it may succeed, but any organisation looking at other areas needs to be extremely competitive with its rates or offer. You tend to find niche players establish themselves with a broker base before switching to another market area such as prime. They then creep into the market until they have a firm base to work from.”

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