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Gatehouse targets mainstream market with Sharia mortgages

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Gatehouse Bank will expand into residential and buy-to-let mortgage lending later this year for the first time, led by former Aldermore group managing director Charles Haresnape.

Gatehouse will lend exclusively through brokers. Until now, the lender has provided only commercial mortgage lending.

The lender plans to first concentrate on “competitive” standard residential mortgages at middling loan-to-values, and will launch products at “the tail end of the year”.

It will then move into the buy-to-let market.

Haresnape says: “We will, like Aldermore, be looking at the full range of buy-to-let, including being fairly specialist on limited company and large-portfolio buy-to-let.

“I’m very keen on it. The bank already has experience in commercial lending, and that’s relevant experience for large portfolio lending.”

All Gatehouse mortgages will be compliant with Sharia Islamic finance rules.

Haresnape says: “Our proposition is to have competitive mortgages available to everybody.

“They are very relevant to people who want a Sharia-compliant mortgage but anyone can apply for them. The mortgages are all fully MCOB compliant and regulated by the FCA.

“Sharia is a fantastic niche. When we built Aldermore we built it on niches: manual underwriting and so on. This is the same sort of thing, but we are pointing this at an even smaller niche.

“I think it will look nice and fresh and really invigorate that £3bn-a-year market of people that only want Sharia compliant.”

He says the lender will continue to be based in London but will have a strong digital offering.

“We are looking to have very digitally based mortgage systems that are fit for purpose; not old legacy systems. We want to come at it fresh, with new, bang-up-to-date systems that brokers will really love using,” Haresnape adds.

Haresnape joined Gatehouse earlier this month as chief executive.

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