Movers and shakers

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Alan Mathewson to take over at Abbey as Ricky Okey leaves

Abbey for Intermediaries is to have a new man at the helm following Ricky Okey’s decision to leave the lender.

Alan Mathewson (pictured), currently director of parent Santander’s bancassurance division, will assume the managing director role at Abbey in May subject to Financial Services Authority approval.

He will also take on the role of managing director of Santander Private Banking UK following Alvario Morales’ move to Miami to become chief executive officer of Santander Private Banking International.

This latest management reshuffle at Santander comes two months after Nici Audhlam-Gardiner was moved to the post of director of banking. Clive Kornitzer also recently moved from his position as chief operating officer at Abbey to develop a proposition for Santander targeting wealthy clients.

Antonio Lorenzo, executive director at Santander UK, says: “We would like to thank Okey for the contribution he has made. We’re sorry to see him leave and wish him well for the future.”

It is not known where Okey is headed but industry sources say that a key distributor could be set to offer him a position.

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Colin Snowdon in the hot seat at Aldermore mortgage arm

New lender Aldermore has outlined the range of circumstances it will accept for mortgage applicants that would ordinarily fail a lender’s credit score.

Our sister magazine Mortgage Strategy was first to reveal that Aldermore’s mortgage arm, which will only deal with brokers, is to launch within the next few months. The bank says it will consider a range of factors for creditworthy borrowers who are typically turned away by other lenders.

Borrowers who will be considered by Aldermore include the self-employed, those with minor credit issues that have been resolved and borrowers that have recently changed jobs or moved home. The lender will also consider applicants who are temporarily living in rented accommodation after selling their home.

Colin Snowdon (pictured), chief executive of residential mortgages at Aldermore, says: “Thousands of perfectly creditworthy borrowers are being denied access to the mortgage market by lenders that rely on credit scoring and refuse to consider cases which fall outside the norm.”

He gives an example of a self-employed applicant with income from multiple sources.

Snowdon says: “If that income can be verified by an accountant, that’s fine with us.”

Aldermore plans to offer buy-to-let mortgages as well as residential lending. Product details are expected to be published soon.

Non-executive roles for Stuart Bernau and Keith Carby at Metro Bank
Metro Bank has finally obtained a banking licence from the Financial Services Authority after first applying in early 2008.

The company says it will be the first bank to open on the high street for more than 150 years. Metro Bank branches will be open seven days a week and the first two are scheduled to open in London in Q2 2010.

Metro Bank’s non-executive directors include Stuart Bernau, former retail director at Nationwide, and Keith Carby, former chief executive of Openwork.

Anthony Thomson, chairman of Metro Bank, says: “We are entering a new era of banking in the UK, in which service is key and lending is deposit-based.”

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David Johnson and Philip George to lead relaunched Link Loans

Secured loans specialist Link Loans is relaunching after securing funding from Royal Bank of Scotland Equity Finance.

In October 2009 sister firm bridging lender Link Lending was wound down but Link Loans continued to operate on a small scale.

The relaunched lender will see chief executive officer David Johnson (pictured) and Philip George both sit on the executive board with Stel Charalambous as finance director, Maeve Ward as head of sales and Kam Sanghani, former managing director of White Label Loans, as head of operations.

Stephen Johnson will support the team as non-executive director.

Link Loans will offer loans up to 75% LTV for employed individuals and 70% LTV for the self employed, with rates from 11.9%.

Loan amounts range from £5,000 to £30,000 and terms are from three to 20 years. Products will be distributed through a panel of secured loan brokers.

The lender has new equity funding from the RBS Special Opportunities Fund, managed by RBS Equity Finance, and new debt funding from RBS Financial Institutions.

Johnson says: “There has never been a better time for a prime lender to enter, with massive unsatisfied demand in the market. The old secured lending business model relied too heavily on ancillary sales such as insurance and as a consequence migrated to increasing risk and reducing margins to drive volume.

“The subsequent pressure on income, combined with tight restrictions on funding, forced lenders to withdraw. We have brought Link Loans back to the market with a realistic model that is transparent and simple, offering products with prudent lending criteria.”

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Doug Crawford takes helm as chief executive officer of PTFS

Personal Touch Financial Services has appointed Doug Crawford (pictured) as chief executive officer.

In his previous role Crawford was CEO at Absolute Invoice Finance, part of lender Aldermore. Prior to that he held senior roles with Aviva General Insurance as well as in non-financial services businesses.

John Ruddick, former chief executive of PTFS, became chief operating officer at the firm around six months ago and PTFS chairman Martin Wilson retired in January.

Max Wright, interim chief executive, says: “We have been involved in an extensive search for the right candidate and Crawford has a great record.”

Gemma Harle named as managing director of TenetLime
Gemma Harle, former managing director of Mortgage Next, has been appointed managing director of rival network TenetLime.

Harle left Mortgage Next last year following the purchase of Mortgage Intelligence by Mortgage Next’s parent European Financial Solutions.