“You name it, we financed it – cars, lorries, planes, even sheep,” says managing director Keith Astill. “We did personal loans and revolving credit, the application form for which could usually be found on page three of the Sun. Our travel loans were a little less successful – we only sold two and one of those was a one-way ticket to Jamaica.”
In 1984 UCB dipped its toe into the residential mortgage market after which it was bought in 1985 by Compagnie Bancaire Group of France at which time it acquired the name UCB (Union de Credit pour le Batiment – ‘credit for buildings’). Then, in 1995 UCB Home Loans was acquired by Nationwide.
“From that time we focussed on building our reputation in the residential self-cert mortgage market before branching out into buy-to-let and becoming the specialist lender we are today,” Astill adds.