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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.”


Court clarity

Nic Cicutti’s article in the July 10 issue of Money Marketing made a number of comments about the recent litigation in which we have been involved that are simply not true.

Which bear is it this time?

There is no argument now. We are in a bear market. Indeed, given that the FTSE 100 index failed to reach the level attained at the end of 1999, there is even an argument that we never really escaped from the new millennium bear phase, except that the recovery did take most markets into new high ground, including our own FTSE 250 index.

First footing

I have just completed my first week in my new role and the pace is just as hectic at a professional body as at a trade body.


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