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Specialist lenders may merge after Portman takeover

Nationwide has indicated it will merge its specialist lending subsidiary with Portman’s once its takeover of the Portman is complete in September.

Portman’s The Mortgage Works and Nationwide’s UCB Homeloans will remain as separate brands after the takeover but they will operate as a single lender at TMW’s Bournemouth headquarters. The division is to be run by current Portman group development director Matthew Wyles.

Nationwide commercial and communications director Stuart Bernau says the two societies have yet to finalise plans but it is likely to adopt a multi-brand strategy with a centralised salesforce, similar to Royal Bank of Scotland Intermediary Partners.

The move was first tipped by Money Marketing last September.

Bernau adds that Nationwide will aim to move deeper into the adverse sector after the takeover.

He says: “Eventually, UCB and TMW will come together. There is value in retaining both the brands but we will not favour one over the other. We will operate through one salesforce but there is an advantage to using both brands as some of our competitors have been doing that.”

Savills Private Finance associate director Melanie Bien says: “Brokers want choice so if this means losing a lender it is disappointing.”

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