Paul Robinson, founder of SMS, which launched in 1989, says that prior to the market downturn last year, the firm had geared up for a rapid rate of growth given the buoyant market conditions.
He says the firm built an infrastructure, with an investment in people, technology, premises, and diverse distribution to facilitate this.
But Robinson says: “This investment was based on both historical growth rate and an anticipated further increase in business volumes. Due to the unexpected scale of change in the market over the past 13 months, the level of completion/applications have not been at the level required to support the investment.
He says the loss of some key lenders to the market and others having limited funding, has seriously impacted the business and it is with great regret that it made the decision to put the business into administration.
“Solent has worked very closely with all our shareholders to try and resolve this matter. GE especially has supported the business in numerous ways by giving, sales/marketing support to work with brokers, staff and the directors as it would with all its supporting packagers.”
Robinson adds: “We have been very lucky over the last 20 years to have had such dedicated, loyal and professional staff and customers, we would like to thank everyone of them for their support and help. We would also like to thank all our Lender partners and staff for helping SMS create a great brand and reputation over the years.”
Mark Snape, sales director at GE Money Home Lending says it will be sad to see such a dynamic business leave the market.
He says: “We are saddened at the news that Solent Mortgage Services has gone into administration.
“Solent was a dynamic business which grew extremely quickly and was ideally placed to maximise its potential in a healthy market.
“However, the pace and scale of Solent’s growth meant the business had significant embedded costs and targets which have been severely and irreparably impacted by the ongoing difficulties in the UK mortgage market.
“We commend the directors on what must have been a very difficult and brave decision.”