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Skipton revamps arm for sub-prime sector

Skipton Building Society is to become the latest mainstream mortgage

provider to enter the sub-prime market by transforming a subsidiary into

its specialist lending arm.

The UK&#39s sixth-biggest mutual is planning to launch a range of low to

medium-risk sub-prime products this week through subsidiary Skipton

Mortgages, which previously focused on acquiring the mortgage books of

rival lenders.

In a move which suggests that mainstream lenders rem-ain reluctant to

offer sub-prime products under their own name, Skipton is alsorebranding

the company, which it established in 1995, as Amber Homeloans.

It will offer a wide range of products from self-certification for the

self-employed and 100 per cent loan to value mortgages through to full

sub-prime loans for borrowers with mortgage arrears and CCJs up to a

maximum of £10,000.

The range will only be available through mortgage brokers and IFAs as

Skipton has no plans to sell the loans through its branch network.

Chief executive John Goodfellow says: “The creation of Amber Homeloans

enables the Skipton group to further exp-and its mortgage distribution

channels by moving into the specialist lending market. This adds another

string to our bow and brings a contemporary look and name to what is a

rapidly developing sector.”

Amber managing director Gordon Jolly says: “Our knowledge, experience and

size guarantees credibility from day one and we quickly expect to generate

a reputation as a major player renowned for quality service and product

innovation.”

London & Country mortgage specialist David Hollingworth says: “We have

already seen Cheltenham & Gloucester and Birmingham Midshires go sub-prime

recently. It seems this is going to be the main trend in the coming months.”

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