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Aldermore’s mortgage lending tops £1bn  

Aldermore has lent more than £1bn worth of residential and commercial mortgages since first opening its doors for business in the summer of 2009.

Mark Stephens, deputy chief executive and group managing director of Aldermore’s mortgage division, says: “This is a fantastic result at a time when the general economy and the housing market have both been in the doldrums.

“Aldermore has been able to buck the trend and has consistently increased its lending volumes, whilst other lenders have been cutting back and tightening criteria.

“We’ve maintained our focus on providing mortgage finance to creditworthy borrowers frustrated by intransigent high street lenders. Our strategy of assessing cases based on their own merits, rather than relying on automated credit scoring, has paid dividends and the quality of our loan book is excellent.”

He says it has ambitious plans for both its residential, commercial property lending and development finance businesses and will be making further announcements about new products and services over the coming weeks.

 

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Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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