Recognize the bank: Advisor market ‘absolutely critical’ to success of £ 250million loan target


Recognize Bank confirmed that it was on track to launch its buy-lease business proposition early in the second quarter and said the mid-market would be “absolutely critical” to its success.

The newly licensed bank has set out more of its broader strategic plans which include an “ambitious but realistic target” of building a £ 250million loan portfolio by the end of next fiscal year.

The lender will set up a series of regional centers across the country as the lender seeks to connect with borrowers and brokers in these areas.

Its London headquarters will be joined by regional posts in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds with other hubs around Bristol, Milton Keynes, the East Midlands and Newcastle to follow.

Recognize, which is part of the City of London group, obtained a banking license in November and has already launched its bridging and business loan offerings with a focus on the SME sector.

Speaking to Specialist Lending Solutions, CEO Jason Oakley said, “We understand the absolutely critical role of intermediaries in the market.

“Because of skills denial, you can’t walk into a bank branch and have a meaningful conversation about a rental purchase or a commercial real estate loan.

“That skill set disappeared, so the middle market became the first port of call.”

The bank has already started working with 40 brokers and has recruited 16 since November to start a steady flow of business, but Oakley admits this is only scratching the surface and will continue to develop contacts once clearance ends. and the opening of hub centers.

Since the commercially-owned product launched in November, Oakley has been overwhelmed with the response.

“We had a certain level of expectation for the approaches and we completely wiped it out,” he said.

“The demand has been high, the quality of the proposed borrower has been better, and the ticket size has been larger than expected – so we’re seeing bigger and more established clients.”

Relationship-driven business

Recognize adopts a borrower-centric pricing and relationship model, in which it will consider transactions based primarily on the borrower’s capacity, support, and history.

This means that he usually looks for more complex transactions or those where he can add the most value, rather than focusing on volume lending.

“The premise of our approach is that we are sponsored by sponsors, so the borrower means everything to us,” Oakley continued.

“Some lenders may have an industry or a regional focus, but ours is the client and their insight, their personal net worth, their track record.

“Our bridging deals are incredibly diverse – yes, residential investment because it’s the most liquid, but all lenders are looking at it – we’ll be looking at the weirder and the things with wrinkles that need to be structured.

£ 250 million per year

A similar approach is in place for its commercial real estate loans which will consider loans between £ 100,000 and £ 5million with a loan at maximum value (LTV) of 75% to a maximum of £ 2.5million. sterling and 70% for larger loans.

And the purchase-to-lease proposal will follow the same path once launched.

“It will be a professional buy-lease product, not a volume-based product. I want to build relationships, so I tend to pick the more complex end where they have a bigger portfolio and more complex needs, ”Oakley said.

“If it’s four investment properties, I’m not going to add value to it and they can get cheaper rates elsewhere. I add value when I can review a portfolio and help restructure it with more personalized solutions. “

Oakley and his team are ambitious for the bank and aim for a loan portfolio of £ 250million by March 2022, and then £ 250-350million of net balance growth per year in the future. .

“By the fifth year, the goal is to have a loan portfolio of £ 1.4 billion. You will see a bias towards medium-term loans with business loans, commercial real estate loans, and practice loans, ”Oakley concluded.

Owain Thomas is Editor-in-Chief and Editor-in-Chief of Mortgage Solutions and Editor-in-Chief of Specialist Lending Solutions. He also has experience in the areas of protection, pensions, benefits and human resources. Owain has won two Headline Money awards and the Protection Review Journalist of the Year award.

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