Secure Trust Bank has launched a mortgage division aimed at the self-employed and others who struggle to get credit from traditional lenders.
The lender will provide loans of up to £2m per household and will offer two, three and five-year fixed rate mortgages with a maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 80 per cent.
The bank will lend to contract workers, the self-employed and those with complex incomes or those who have experienced a credit blip.
The bank has initially agreed an exclusive distribution partnership with Mortgage Advice Bureau, with a roll-out of mortgages to other intermediaries set to take place after the initial launch period.
Its mortgages division will be headed by Esther Morley, who joined the Solihull-headquartered bank 12 months ago and has more than 20 years’ experience in the mortgage and banking sector.
After its flotation on the London Stock Exchange’s Main Market in October 2016, the bank was valued at £427.5m, with profit after tax for the first half of 2016 totalling £129.1m.
Ms Morley, managing director at Secure Trust Bank Mortgages, said: “We will stand out from others in the market by providing an exemplary service with smart operating systems that will be fine-tuned to respond faster and make everybody’s life much easier.
“The team will be committed to offering bespoke services with a personal touch, and this will move us one step closer to becoming Britain’s best bank.”
Matthew Fleming-Duffy, director of Bournemouth-based Cherry Finance, said: “It is to be welcomed – competition is a good thing – but is it really needed?
“The housing issue we have got relates to affordability, which is an issue of the supply of new-build property, and the mortgage market is now pretty competitive.
“For the consumer there are fantastic deals to be had. There are lots of more quirky options for people who are not necessarily served so well by high street banks, and the lending criteria can be pretty flexible.
“Do we want to see more risky cases being chased by some lenders? No we do not – we don’t want another credit crunch. The biggest problem comes with supply and demand.”