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Portillion closes down

Portillion has withdrawn its Financial Services Authority application and decided not to pursue becoming a mortgage lender.

Its Farnborough office has been closed and all 20 staff have been made redundant.

It first planned to become a lender in 2007 when former GMAC-RFC chairman Stephen Knight revealed plans to launch Checkmate Mortgages.

It rebranded to Portillion in February 2010. In February 2011 Knight decided to step down because he had a brain tumour. The firm made its application to the FSA to become a lender in May 2011.

Portillion had set an original launch date of January 1 2012 and planned to offer a range of savings products direct and mortgages through brokers. It had secured more than £58m in investment from SBI Group of Japan.



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  • GHU 3rd May 2012 at 1:55 pm

    This is hardly unexpected news. It has taken so long to try and reolve the issues that there were bound to be major problems. I don’t think it took Precise half the time to get their licence. Anon above is probably correct in that the GMAC experience was hardly an example of good lending and this would seem to have reflected on Portillion.

  • Anon 2 2nd May 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Anon above has it absolutely right.I am a former GMAC emplyee and know full well that the FSA held Knight in part responsible for much that has happened. Specifically action was demanded from companies like the West Bromwich Building Society who with open arms invested tens of millions in buying mortgages from GMAC which frankly were rubbish. Knight and his team were possessed with becoming a top ten lender to satisfy their own egos. They achieved it of course, but by God at what a price.

  • anon 1st May 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I think there is a very good reason this has gone pete tong: The management team are all ex GMAC. FSA beleive GMAC is all that is bad about systems based lending. I suspect that the FSA simply booted their application into the long grass at every twist and turn.

  • We're all doomed!! 1st May 2012 at 10:05 am

    I’m not so sure that this can be blamed on the FSA – whilst there has been no comment from Portillion reported here, my guess is that securing adequate funding lines was the issue.

  • Dennis Jason 1st May 2012 at 8:08 am

    The FSA don’t seem to want to support small lenders in this market.

    It’s a great shame for the staff who have spend four years building a system and organisation that never had a single orginator; for the investors who must have lost 10s of millions of pounds; for the directors who have the humiliation of failing so publically; and for the broker world which has another potential lender extinguished.

    Best of luck to the good staff there in finding something else quickly.

  • Afro haired broker 30th April 2012 at 2:57 pm

    onlky £58m in investment? – you need quite a bit more than that to be a lender of mortgage sorts right?

  • Anthea McGlade 30th April 2012 at 1:42 pm

    I had everything crossed that this business would launch giving brokers more choice and another string to their bow..

    It would be great to hear how Stephen is getting on and wish him all the heath and happiness in the world..