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Network Data looking at move into lending

Network Data Holdings is gearing up to set up a lending operation in early 2007.

The parent company of Network Data, which floated on Aim last month, is considering whether to launch a dormant firm it owns, Homeowners Mortgages, on to the lending scene.

HM was set up in November 2005. It is not clear what sectors of the market it would operate in. It will look at funding options, including equity investment from other parties.

A launch could mirror Close Brothers, which runs network Mortgage Intelligence which set up a lending arm this year.

Network Data says in its Aim prospectus: “The directors are evaluating the benefits of launching HM as a mortgage lender to develop a profit stream in the short to medium term and a long-term asset within the group. The earliest anticipated launch would be early 2007.”

London & Country head of communications David Hollingworth says: “I would have thought HM is likely to concentrate on one niche in the market. I would expect more branded lenders to enter the market in the coming months.”

BM Solutions head of sales and marketing Chris Pearson says: “This market is all about distribution and Network Data has established itself as one of the biggest networks in the UK. The move to lender status is an interesting one and it is in a good position to take this on.”

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