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Checkmate rebrands to Portillion

Checkmate Mortgages has rebranded to Portillion and appointed Philip Dearing, former chief executive officer at Market Harborough as its savings director.

Dearing’s appointment suggests the lender will look to retail deposits for its funding when it launches.

Portillion has yet to reveal when it plans to launch or if it has obtained its banking licence from the Financial Services Authority.

Dearing also works as a non-executive director at Mutual One and Computer Service – a subsidiary of Skipton Building Society. It is unclear whether he will remain in theses posts once the lender starts trading.

Dearing’s appointment is just one of several new recruits.

“The board, management team and governance structure that has been put in place at Portillion is as good as I have seen anywhere in the industry.”

Gerald Gregory, non-executive chairman, Portillion

Gerald Gregory, previously a director of Britannia Building Society is taking on the role of non-executive chairman, with  Ronnie Baird, previously a director of the FSA, becomes a senior non-executive director and chairman of Portillion’s audit committee.

David Hill, previously chief financial officer and chief executive officer at Stroud & Swindon Building Society, has been appointed as chief financial officer and David Kindred, previously head of decision sciences at Lloyds Banking Group is to become chief risk officer.

Stephen Knight, previously executive chairman at GMAC-RFC and Checkmate, takes on the role of chief executive officer at Portillion.

The name change is a result of the lender carrying out research in 2009 into the business to business and business to consumer sectors.

Derived from the French word “portillon”, meaning the security gate in front of a castle, the new name passed various tests of positive association and recall.

Gregory says: “The board, management team and governance structure that has been put in place at Portillion is as good as I have seen anywhere in the industry. When the time is right for us to launch, I am sure we will improve choice and benefits for customers.”

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  • chris powell 24th February 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I sit back in amazment at Mr Friend’s comments. I guess he is expecting to see a ‘Knight’ in shining armour coming over the hill to the rescue of all mortgage brokers. Well I have tow comments:
    1) That Knight has been taking his time because to my knowledge Checkmate never actually advanced any money by way of mortgage.
    2) Stephen would not be associated with any failure might be down to the fact that he got out of GMAC before the brown stuff hit the fan. Obvioulsy GMAC was a wonderful lender as is shown by the quality of book it sold to Bradford & Bingley (amongst others).

    Just keep wearng those rose coloured spectacles and who know your hero might arrive.

  • Jeremy 23rd February 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I’m not surprised Gregory says: “The board, management team and governance structure that has been put in place at Portillion is as good as I have seen anywhere in the industry”, it is highly impressive. However I have absolutely no doubt this is the FSA’s prerequisite for being authorised given the GMAC connection.

  • Paul Goldsmith 23rd February 2010 at 3:47 pm

    There will be securitisation possibilities once the process is totally transparent. Had the sub prime mortgages been sold on as such we may not have had the issue we ended up with. As it was, sub prime were thrown in with AAA and judged to be the same risk leading to the world’s most expensive game of pass the parcel and when the music stopped somebody was lumbered with it. If investors are fully aware of what they are buying then securitisation can happen again.

  • grey haired underwriter 23rd February 2010 at 3:31 pm

    So everyone expects the ‘white’ knight to come charging to the rescue with his new innovative ways of doing things. Perhaps this is not an issue for the broker but I wonder how many lenders would be happy to securitise mortgages from the son of GMAC!

  • Dan McGeehan 22nd February 2010 at 1:13 pm

    The anonymous comment has a lot of merit. Yes the team that has been assembled have been good in the past however the market has changed dramatically. I do not see them being the saviour of the intermediary market but rather a niche lender like kensignton or along the same volumes as Platform. They are not coming in to replace adverse lenders that left but to compete in the mainstream arena.

  • Kevin friend 22nd February 2010 at 12:19 pm

    The comment, which is anonymous needs to be disregarded as clearly it is sent by someone who has no knowledge of the industry and must be diluded! the team is one of the best, Stephen will not be associated with any failure and the Chiefs are good one with lots of indians to follow no doubt! This is the best story to hit the market over the last year or so and one to follow very closely.

  • Not so excellent actually.... 22nd February 2010 at 10:23 am

    Lots of Chiefs….lots of cost.

    The BS movement is currently in disarray due to the funding crisis in the markets. Retail deposits in isolation are somewhat insufficient.

    A company which has yet to launch, that is burning cash with a huge infrastructure cost; is now ‘re-branding’ following “the result of extensive research carried out in the fourth quarter of 2009”

    Yep, and adding more costs!

    So does this all mean an imminent launch?

    Eh no, the time is “still not right”…….

    Hope I am wrong but even though the strategy is OK’ish it all sounds a little pretentious re-branding at this juncture.

    Perhaps the actions of a company with lots of cash and too much free time?

    Portillion a Fermé – Gate (still) Closed?

  • Not so excellent actually.... 22nd February 2010 at 10:23 am

    Lots of Chiefs….lots of cost.

    The BS movement is currently in disarray due to the funding crisis in the markets. Retail deposits in isolation are somewhat insufficient.

    A company which has yet to launch, that is burning cash with a huge infrastructure cost; is now ‘re-branding’ following “the result of extensive research carried out in the fourth quarter of 2009”

    Yep, and adding more costs!

    So does this all mean an imminent launch?

    Eh no, the time is “still not right”…….

    Hope I am wrong but even though the strategy is OK’ish it all sounds a little pretentious re-branding at this juncture.

    Perhaps the actions of a company with lots of cash and too much free time?

    Portillion a Fermé – Gate (still) Closed?

  • Rob Jupp 22nd February 2010 at 8:45 am

    This sounds like an excellent strategic move and lets hope that the team at Portillion get their banking license quickly to allow them to start lending in 2010. The Mortgage Industry craves an intermediary focused lender and with Stephen, Gerald and the whole Portillion team I am certain that this will be a wonderful success.Good luck to you all.

  • Andrew Deeley 22nd February 2010 at 8:43 am

    Obviously moving away from the “stalemate” brand which has gone nowhere, and now naming themselves after a type of pottery and a village in Wales-http://www.portmeirion-village.com/