Amber axes new lending

Amber Homeloans has withdrawn from new lending and will focus only on its current portfolio of loans.

The lender says changes in the market during the past six months have led it to form a new business strategy to secure its future as a niche lending leader.

It is not known if redudancies will form part of the new strategy, but a consultation process has started with staff.

Amber will be honouring all pipeline business and will notify brokers of the withdrawal of its products, along with notice of when final applications will be accepted.

The business will then concentrate on administering its existing loans, led by finance director Paul Gittins.

Gordon Jolly, managing director of Amber Homeloans, says: “Amber was created six years ago as a specialist lender, with the aim of building its business through the origination, buying and selling of mortgage assets.

“Thanks to a fantastic team, we’ve been phenomenally successful at this and, even though it was never our intention to grow beyond a certain size, we now have a balance sheet of £1.5bn.

“However, many of the ways in which we temper our level of risk are currently closed to us, such as securitisation and asset trading, and so we’ve decided it’s time to pause for breath and wait until the market returns to more normal conditions.”

Amber says that as part of Skipton, there will be opportunities for the majority of its affected staff to take up positions with other subsidiaries, such as Homeloan Management, or the society itself.

Jolly will be taking a role on Skipton’s operational board as general manager responsible for the society’s credit and lending function.