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Checkmate gets cash for launch in early 2009

Checkmate Mortgages has secured investment backing which will see Stephen Knight’s postponed lender launch in early 2009.

The capital has been provided by RIT Capital Partners and Lord Rothschild’s family interests. Knight remains the biggest shareholder in Checkmate.

In February, Money Marketing revealed that Knight would be delaying his venture due to trading conditions.

The firm says mortgage funding will be through flow agreements with financial institutions, with an agreement in principle reached with two flow funders. It says warehouse funding lines will be added when available.

Knight says: “It is testament to the reputation of our team and the foresight of our investors that we have been able to raise capital for a new lender in such bad and still deteriorating market conditions.”

He says the time to be launching into new lending is when the liquidity freeze starts to thaw, about 18-20 months since it started in August 2007.

Brentchase Financial Services mortgage specialist Mike Fitzgerald says: “This might make other lenders speed up the process of rejuvenation.”

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