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Link Loans relaunches

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Link Loans relaunches

The secured loans lender Link Loans has been relaunched, after its sister company, bridging finance firm Link Lending, went into administration late last year. 

The firm has announced that it has been relaunched with new equity funding from the RBS Special Opportunities Fund, managed by RBS Equity Finance (a division of RBS Asset Management Limited), and new debt funding from RBS Financial Institutions. 
Link Loans will be headed up by an executive board that includes eminent industry experts, David Johnson and Philip George.
The Link Loans team also includes former Link Lending staff, like finance director Stel Charalambous and Maeve Ward, the head of sales. Head of operations, Kam Sanghani has joined the group, having previously worked at White Label Loans.  
Stephen Johnson will support the team as a non executive director and in house legal services will be provided by mortgage specialists, Pure Law.
Link Loans has said that it is re-dedicating itself to intermediary distribution, and now offers a range of transparent and simple prime secured loan products.  
Loans are available up to 75% LTV for employed and 70% LTV for self employed; rates start from 11.9%. Loan amounts are from £5,000 to £30,000 and loan terms are from three to 20 years. A fully functional online system is available to brokers, providing online credit agreements’ and a 24/7 case tracking facility. 
In addition, brokers can view FAQs and can have a live web chat with the sales/underwriting team. Link Loans products will be distributed through a panel of secured loan brokers.
David Johnson, CEO of Link Loans, explained why market conditions are now right to relaunch a secured second charge lending proposition. He said: “The market has never been better for a prime lender to enter with massive unsatisfied demand. The old, secured lending business model relied too much on ancillary sales such as insurance, and as a consequence migrated to increasing risk and reducing margins to drive volume. The subsequent pressure on income, combined with huge restrictions on funding, forced lenders to withdraw. 
“We have brought Link Loans back to the market with a realistic, common-sense model that is transparent and simple, offering sensibly priced products with prudent lending criteria.”
Philip George, Managing Director of Link Loans, added: “We firmly believe that there is improved optimism and confidence in the secured loans sector – a belief that is shared by our funding partners. There is also a further pent up demand to be satisfied, with 33 per cent of mortgage borrowers tied into fixed and tracker rates, a tightening remortgage market, and an increasing number of householders looking for finance to improve and/or extend their properties rather than move house. 
“In a sector that is already well regulated by the OFT, we also believe that brokers and consumers are looking for a secured loan provider that offers transparent and fair products that adhere to the principle of treating customers fairly.”
Lindsey McMurray, Head of RBS Equity Finance, said: “We are delighted to be backing David and Philip in what we believe will be an extremely exciting business in the secured loan market. We see significant untapped potential in this market and believe Link Loans will help many prime customers with a financial product that sits so well between remortgages and unsecured loans. This investment fits our strategy of backing high quality, growth focussed businesses.”
RBS Asset Management Limited, acting through its Equity Finance division, manages the RBS Special Opportunities Fund, a £1.1bn fund with a broad investment mandate, covering everything from majority equity investment through to mezzanine debt. RBS Special Opportunities Fund currently backs over 20 companies across a variety of sectors.

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