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Do you expect to see less or more second charge mortgage lenders in 2018?

Welsh government backs second charge mortgage lender

Welsh government building

Optimum Credit has received £140,000 from the Welsh government’s Growth and Prosperity Fund to create 23 new jobs.

The Cardiff-based second charge lender recently raised £256m through a securitisation transaction as it looked to increase its market share.

Optimum was established in late 2013 with £600,000 of business finance from the Welsh government and backing from Patron Capital Partners.

The lender has since built up a loan portfolio of over £275m through a network of specialist third-party mortgage brokers and now plans to build a retail channel lending directly to customers.

“Optimum Credit is very much a made-in-Wales success story,” said Ken Skates, Welsh economic secretary. 

“The business has undergone rapid growth in a short time to take the number one position as the UK’s largest lender in the second mortgage market.

“This is quite an achievement in what is a highly competitive market and the company now plans to build on that success by offering their bespoke priced products directly to customers.”

The initial Welsh government funding allowed Optimum to create 44 jobs over five years, but it has exceeded all targets and now currently employees 82 people at its Cardiff office. 

“I am delighted the Welsh government is supporting their next stage of growth that will enable them to take advantage of new opportunities and create more well-paid, highly skilled jobs,” Ken added.

“Optimum Credit is a prime example of the innovative, high-growth companies and established national and international centres in the financial and professional service sector that have chosen to invest and grow their businesses in Wales.”

Ian Praed, COO of Optimum Credit, added: “We’re delighted to continue our positive relationship with the Welsh government in the further development of Optimum here in Cardiff.  

“From the original start-up support provided via their Growth and Prosperity Fund, we have created over 80 jobs to date and look forward to adding to this number as we develop and roll out our direct-to-consumer proposition.”

The new retail sales capability will allow Optimum to expand its product range and interact with customers using their channels of choice, delivering via the internet and mobile technology. 

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