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Lehman buys sub-prime firm

US investment bank Lehman Brothers has acquired specialist sub-prime lender Preferred Mortgages in its second foray into the UK retail market.

Preferred will continue as a stand-alone mortgage business but says, with Lehman Brothers behind it, it will be able to build its business.

Lehman, which had global assets of over $48bn in 2002, bought sub-prime lender Southern Pacific Mortgages last year.

Preferred and SPML will continue as separate brands.

Preferred was set up in 1996 and says it has 14,000 customers in the UK. It offers sub-prime products and covers the buy-to-let sector.

Chief executive Dennis Pitocco says: “Preferred will continue as a separate and stand-alone mortgage business and continue to use the Preferred name but, with Lehman Brothers&#39 support, the company will be able to build on the success it has already achieved.”

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