Merrill Lynch has bought Freedom Lending in its latest push into the mortgage market.Freedom will continue to operate as a specialist lender in the buy-to-let, let-to-buy and self-certification markets. It will sit alongside Mortgages PLC, which Merrill also owns, and will unveil a new trading name before the end of the year. Merrill is also believed to have provided part of the funding structure for the Oakwood group’s new lender, Edeus. It is the latest in a long line of US investment banks looking to penetrate the UK mortgage market. Lehman Brothers already owns Preferred, SPML and the London Mortgage Company and is helping Alliance & Leicester’s push into specialist markets. Goldman Sachs is also understood to be contemplating a move into the UK mortgage market. Freedom managing director Colin Snowdon says: “This is excellent news as the backing of Merrill Lynch will enable us to accelerate the next phase of our development. I have been ambitious for this business from the word go and we can now compete confidently with the major players in our sector.” Merrill managing director of residential real estate Daniel Pace says: “Freedom represents a quality brand and will have an even greater number of tools to better serve the marketplace and its clients.” Purely Mortgage chief executive Mark Chilton says: “It is not surprising as the US firms seem to be buying everyone in sight.”
Select committee members can expect less of an
ear-bashing in future when examining financial services issues after this week’s announcement that Mick McAteer is standing down as principal policy adviser at Which?
The Pensions Regulator coll-ected only two-thirds of levies in the last tax year. Its business plan for the next year shows that 29 per cent of firms did not pay their levies, amounting to £54m last year, and they will be chased up this year. A spokesman says: “We had collected over 71 per cent […]
Seven Investment Management has passed the half- a-billion-pound milestone across its multi-manager fund range. Since Seven launched its multi-manager Oeic 30 months ago, three of its original funds – moderately cautious, balanced and moderately adventurous – now have more than 100m in assets apiece. The portfolios are overseen by chief investment officer Ros Price and […]
The default retirement age (DRA) was abolished more than three years ago, yet new research from Jelf Employee Benefits suggests that the vast majority of employers still have some way to go to fully understand, comply and communicate the landmark legislation change that prevents older employees being forcibly retired on the grounds of age alone.
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Concerns have been raised about the independence of two directors at Neil Woodford’s £855m Patient Capital Trust after a report in The Times reveals they have jobs at companies in which the fund owns a stake. According to The Times, Patient Capital Trust chairwoman Susan Searle is also deputy chairwoman of Mercia Technologies, a quoted […]
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Metro Bank’s chairman Vernon Hill has been re-elected despite opposition from activist shareholders such as Royal London. Hill has received criticism from a number of major shareholders over payments to his wife’s company Interarch totalling £21m since Metro Bank’s inception in 2010. The board at Commerce Bank previously ousted Hill from his former role at […]