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Abbey courts near-prime borrowers

Abbey has denied it is already operating in the near-prime market despite offering deals to borrowers with county court judgments.

It gives the same rates to clients with CCJs as those offered to prime customers.

Its official line is that it is exploring entering the sub-prime market later this year but some intermediaries think it is already active in the light end of the sectorAbbey for Intermediaries managing director Ricky Okey says: “We do not encourage or want this business but if intermediaries send us a case where someone has had a CCJ and good credit history, we will not dismiss it out of hand. Our flexibility gives us that reputation but we are not a sub-prime lender.”

Speaking at a recent joint GMAC-RFC and Money Marketing round table meeting, The Mortgage Broker managing director Darren Pescod said: “We would try Abbey first on near-prime.”

Primrose head of strategic partnerships Kevin Friend says: “I had a meeting recently with a chief executive of a big London brokerage and he said his biggest sub-prime lender is Abbey.”

John Charcol senior tech-nical director Ray Boulger says: “An Abbey deal on this basis is better than a light-adverse deal.”

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