Basinghall plans B2L debut with move away from AVMs

New lender Basinghall Finance will enter the market with a buy-to-let proposition by the end of 2006 and will go against the tide in moving away from automated processes.

Basinghall has been set up as a joint operation between UK firm Home Funding and European commercial bank West LB Capital Markets.

Tony Ward, CEO of Home Funding, says Basinghall will enter the market discretely in the last quarter of 2006 with a buy-to-let proposition, before expanding into owner-occupier deals.

The lender has acquired 1bn in mortgage assets through portfolio acquisitions and completed its first securitisation in June of 600m.

Ward declined to disclose a specific launch date for originations.

But he says: “We have a different strategy to edeus and will slide out quietly. We are still working on systems and legal issues, and building our team, but it is all going well.”

And unlike intermediary lenders such as GMAC-RFC, BM Solutions and edeus, Ward believes that offering automated processes is not the only route for lenders to go down.

Both edeus and GMAC-RFC are planning to launch point-of- sale offers by the end of the year using automated valuation models. Although this evolution is largely welcomed by the market, not all cases will be able to be serviced in this way. And because of the extra profit associated with POS-O there are fears that some lenders may decline business outside of the mould.

Ward says: “Lenders are getting more automated and it is right that the market is moving this way. One by-product is that more complex cases are harder to fit so there is an opportunity for us to offer manual underwriting processes.”

Another difference will be the quantity of brokers that Basinghall enlists to distribute products. It will look at signing up a limited number of brokers that offer quality and quantity.