The second charge mortgage market looks set to welcome a host of new lenders in 2014, some old and some new. One such new entrant will be Optimum Credit, which is due to launch in the coming months and is headed up by several ex Nemo Personal Finance directors.
Loan Introducer speaks with Simon Mules, commercial director at Optimum Credit about the exciting new venture.
Q: Why did you all decide to launch your own lender?
A: As a group we have all worked in the secured loan market previously and believed that this was a particularly exciting opportunity that will allow us to create something different in the secured loan market.
Q: How hard was it to get funding?
A: We are very fortunate to have major backing from an experienced private equity firm, who have extensive knowledge in both the market we are entering and have the appropriate funding contacts to allow us to build our business significantly.
Q: How did you decide on the name?
A: There’s no magic to this one, two men in a room and a long list.
Q: How is the planned launch going?
A: Better than we could have expected, a huge amount of effort has been put in by our IT team and we are all looking forward to our May launch.
Q: How big will the lender be initially, in terms of staff etc?
A: We already have 12 staff and should be up to 18 by April 1 and 25 by early May.
Q: What type of lending/client will you be focussing on?
A: We are looking at prime second charge loans.
Q: What will make Optimum Credit stand out?
A: We have a number of unique selling points, not all of which we want to give away, but we do expect our service and systems to be dynamic and industry changing and I genuinely believe our staff will be one of our strongest assets. Our concentration has been to look forward, we are not encumbered by any past operating models or system issues, so getting our operating models and systems right for the future really does give us the ‘Optimum’ chance of being a market leading player.
Q: Do you expect to be the first new secured loan lender to launch under the new regulator?
A: Possibly so, but all entrants should be welcome, it’s not a race. The whole industry is proud of its reputation and we would all want to be seen to do the right thing for the customer, so if someone else comes in before us, so be it.
Q: Are you all looking forward to being back in the market again?
A: Absolutely, both the brokers and lenders in this market place are unique, we are looking forward to working together again.
Q: What do you think the next twelve months has in store for the secured loan industry?
A: Regulation will be high on everyone’s agenda, so will be the emergence of competition but above all we look forward to being part of a growing market and enjoying the up’s and down’s of business life.