CHL confirms return to lending

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CHL Mortgages has confirmed it will begin lending again within the next few months.

In November, Mortgage Strategy first revealed the lender was planning a return to market for the first time since 2008, although at the time the lender did not return requests for comment.

But a notice on its website confirms it is planning to come back to market around summertime.

As part of its return, the lender will be rebranded ‘CHL for Intermediaries’.

It says: “CHL mortgages is coming back to the market. Rebranded as ‘CHL for Intermediaries’ to reflect our allegiance to and support of the intermediary market, we are currently creating a proposition and environment for a mid-year market launch.

“Our emerging intermediary teams will be ready to bring our buy-to-let products and services to our intermediary partners, to enhance your client choices and to ensure that we work with you to build partnerships that will be based on a principal where we help you build your businesses so that you can help us build ours.

“Good service, value for money products and personal support will be our destination, and the journey will be defined by the conversations that we have with you as we listen and learn the best way to achieve our joint goals.”

The buy-to-let lender pulled out of the market in 2008 and has managed its book since then.

Part of the reason why it has taken so long to re-enter the market is down to the financial situation of its former parent Permanent TSB, which suffered badly during the financial crisis.

PTSB was required to sell off non-core assets as part of an agreement with the EU after being bailed out in 2011.

But in March last year US-based private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management LP bought 50 per cent of CHL’s loan book from PTSB, which amounted to £2.5bn of loans.

As part of the deal, Cerberus also acquired the legal entity Capital Home Loans and the lender’s servicing platform.

Prior to the Cerberus deal, there had been several failed tempts to sell the lender.

PTSB, then known as Irish Life & Permanent, first looked at offloading CHL in 2011 in a plan known internally as Project George, before deciding against the sale.

Then, in 2012, former managing director Bob Young – now chief executive of Fleet Mortgages – attempted a management buyout. Despite agreeing a sale price, the deal collapsed.

In 2014, Young and four senior managers stepped down from their roles to set up Fleet Mortgages.

The Cerberus deal completed last summer.