Buy-to-letNews

Fleet turns £2m profit

Fleet Mortgages, the buy-to-let and specialist lender, lent over half a billion pounds and turned over a £2m profit in 2016.

In only its second full year of lending, Fleet Mortgages – which offers buy-to-let products for individuals, limited companies and those investing in HMOs – said the immediate fall-out from last June’s referendum vote on membership of the EU impacted slightly on its lending activity, as it acted responsibly in light of the uncertainty surrounding the property and financial markets. At the time Fleet Mortgages restricted some products until it deemed the markets had settled down.

Bob Young, chief executive of Fleet Morrtgages, said: “Fleet Mortgages had a very strong year of lending activity in 2016 and we are particularly pleased with the overall credit quality of our mortgage book – something we take very seriously and with an underwriting process which is both tailored and robust.

“We have a management team that has been involved in the buy-to-let sector for many, many years and our focus remains on ensuring both our potential (and existing) borrowers can afford the loans they are taking out.
“I’ve always said that anyone can lend money badly (and many do) but that we at Fleet Mortgages would always ensure that quality comes first.

“Our average LTV, ICR, Credit Bureau Scores show how tight our screening processes are, ensuring we’re able to model potential borrower’s propensity to pay and whether, based on an extensive analysis of their position, they can withstand financial shocks.

“This, in our view, is what responsible lending is all about and we’re pleased that other lenders within the sector are now coming to the place where we started from.

“By having this robust, intelligent underwriting process in place we can make sure borrowers don’t take out unaffordable loans which protects both us and the adviser as they know their clients have been fully assessed.

“Our focus in 2017 will remain on credit quality but also, in an environment where many advisers are worried about the added complexities that others have added into the buy-to-let process, we will remain simple to deal with. We provide certainty and simplicity and, as always, we will be making it as easy as possible to work with Fleet Mortgages. We’re looking forward to the rest of 2017 and ensuring that for advisers and their clients we continue to do exactly what it says on the tin.”

Fleet Mortgages has aspirations to lend in the region of a billion pounds in 2017 in the buy-to-let sector and recently launched a number of new products including its return to the 80% LTV market with 2-year fixes available for individual and limited company borrowers. It also launched a 75% LTV lifetime tracker product for individuals and both 65% and 75% LTV lifetime trackers for limited companies.

The lender also gave an insight into the make-up, and credit-quality, of its mortgage book which it says now comprises over 3,000 accounts since its first completion.

It said there are no arrears cases on any of its mortgage accounts; its average LTV is 67% and its average weighted Interest Coverage Ratio (ICR) is 153% at the stressed rate – a figure, it says, that is far higher than the 145% many PRA-authorised lenders have recently been forced to adopt.

The average Risk Navigator Score for a Fleet Mortgages borrower is over 480; the UK average is 380; the average number of properties owned by a typical Fleet Mortgages’ borrower is 12, which it says confirms the lender is used to dealing with experienced, professional landlords and has a robust, yet uncomplicated, underwriting process in place.

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