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Why we’ve entered the retail mortgage market

Amir Nooriala, OakNorth’s Chief Operating Officer, discusses why we’re entering the mortgage market

According to recent figures released by the FCA, the six largest banks in the UK dominate 77 percent of the mortgage market1, yet have limited mortgage offerings when it comes to borrowers who don’t have a regular or established source of income (such as expats, the self-employed, the self-build market or business owners). Private banks on the other hand, tend to have high entry requirements that are unfavourable to most of these individuals. Lenders are typically unwilling to offer bespoke terms to their mortgage products (e.g. capital holiday) and as a result, more than one in ten business owners in the UK are unable to access the finance they need to purchase their first home, without having to extract funds from the business, something which will limit the business’s growth.

As a lender that has provided over £3bn in bespoke loans to UK entrepreneurs since its launch, we have the necessary expertise and tailored credit analysis models to cater to this unique market. Whilst also having the passion to extend the ways in which we support UK entrepreneurs grow their businesses and hence grow the UK economy.

We’ve proven our ability to complete transactions very quickly – weeks compared to the months it takes larger lenders – whilst taking a customised approach to our lending. That is why we’ve decided to leverage our experience in creating tailored loans for businesses and entrepreneurs to plug this gap and provide our growing portfolio of property investors and developers with mortgage solutions that are attractive, quick, convenient and easy to use.

From today, we will be offering mortgages starting from £500,000 (in exceptional cases loans can be considered above £250,000) providing quick turnarounds on decisions and taking a holistic view of applicants’ finances. We expect to capture up to 5-10 percent of the underserved residential mortgage market (c.£4.25bn) by the end of the year, accounting for a total of c.£260m.

We’ve hired three highly experienced mortgage advisers – Kevin Appleton, Matthew McDonald and Mark Howell – to help us achieve this. Kevin joins from the Financial Ombudsman Service where he helped resolve disputes between financial businesses and their customers. Prior to this, he was a mortgage broker and also spent 18 years with the RBS Group (RBS Bank, Coutts and Co and the NatWest Private Client Group) where he undertook complex credit reviews and applications for new and existing borrowers and managed and built a portfolio of ultra-high net worth private clients. He also has an extensive track record working with entrepreneurs having built a private portfolio of more c.600 entrepreneurs whilst working as a private banker at NatWest’s Mayfair Commercial Office. Matthew was previously a broker, responsible for generating and transacting business throughout his existing network and by building new relationships with introducers and clients. He also spent 12 years at Coutts & Co which saw him responsible for managing and building a portfolio of over 200 high net worth clients with combined assets and liabilities in excess of £250m. Mark joins from the Bank of Ireland where he held the position of Director of Marketing and Customer Management, UK Mortgages.

Through our new mortgages launch, we fully believe we can plug the gap in the market and provide our growing portfolio of property investors and developers with mortgage solutions that are attractive, quick, convenient and easy to use.

Want to speak to our team about getting a mortgage with us, get in touch –


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