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Australian lender eyes UK market

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Australian firm Pepper Group is planning to launch a UK lender following its acquisition of third-party servicer Oakwood Global Finance.

The group, which owns Australian specialist lender Pepper Homeloans, already operates in Europe across Spain and Ireland as well as Australia where it offers lending, asset management and real estate advisory services.

Pepper Group chief operating officer Fraser Gemmell told Money Marketing it will look to set up a UK lending arm once the securitisation market has recovered here. Oakwood will be rebranded as Pepper UK and Gemmell says no jobs will be affected.

Gemmell says: “Within our European entities we are currently asset-management focused, however we do aim to lend in each market that we enter.

“We extensively research each market, we know that there is a demand for the product we’d like to lend. It’s about capital markets and when they can facilitate a securitisation take out – that would be the driver.”

Pepper has not yet applied to the Financial Conduct Authority for regulatory permission to lend in the UK.

In Australia, Pepper acts as a lender for borrowers with adverse credit “unable to meet the lending criteria of banks”. It allows borrowers to have an unlimited number of defaults in the 12 months prior to an application and has a specialist product for self-employed borrowers.

Trinity Financial product and communications manager Aaron Strutt says: “There are a few lenders offering adverse-credit mortgages to borrowers with a poor history in the UK. The market is growing so it is good to hear another lender is looking at helping those who are struggling to get on the property ladder.”

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