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Sainsbury’s Bank eyes mortgage market relaunch

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Sainsbury’s Bank is nearing a relaunch into mortgage lending after nearly 12 years.

Last April the bank brought in Colin Snowdon as a consultant to investigate a possible launch into mortgage lending.

Snowdon brought Aldermore to market and was chief executive of specialist lender and Merril Lynch subsidiary Wave Mortgages before it stopped lending in 2008.

Sources close to the deal say the bank has moved beyond the initial planning stages and is now talking to brokers about distribution.

The bank registered the domain names sainsburysmortgages.co.uk and sainsburysmortgages.com in December.

A Sainsbury’s Bank spokeswoman says: “We are constantly looking at ways to enhance our service, operations and products; offering mortgages is one of a number of options that we are investigating.”

The supermarket’s banking arm provides personal loans, credit cards, insurance, savings options but pulled its mortgage range in July 2004.

Earlier this month Sainsbury’s rival, Tesco Bank, entered the broker market.

Tesco Mortgage Intermediaries is being offered first through London & Country, then through Legal & General’s Nouveau panel in the coming months.

A source says: “If you’re Sainsbury’s, looking at what Tescos do, when you see that your banking competitor has launched into mortgages, it will make you think about it more seriously even if you aren’t quite as advanced as them yet.”

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