Dilosk’s ICS mortgages hit target-beating €530m

Non-bank mortgage lender rejects speculation that it could soon be taken over

Dilosk, the Irish non-bank mortgage lender, said that owner-occupier and buy-to-let loans under its ICS Mortgages brand rose by 143 per cent last year to €530 million, outpacing wider market growth and its own forecasts.

Group chief executive Fergal McGrath had estimated in October that drawdowns for 2021 would amount to €450 million.

Still, the 5 per cent slice of the market captured by the lender last year was in line with the executive's estimate four months ago, when he outlined a plan to double the company's market share within three years by capitalising on the planned exits of Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland.

ICS’s loan growth rate outstripped the 25 per cent increase in the value of drawdowns across the wider market last year as total mortgage lending amounted to €10.5 billion, the highest level since financial crash more than a decade ago.


The group’s total loan book rose by about 25 per cent to more than €1 billion during 2021.

Dilosk saw an instant uptick in inquiries early last year, after Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland signalled they were pulling out of the market. Mortgage brokers, a key channel through which Dilosk issues loans, are also growing their market share.

Investment banks

While there has been speculation in the market in recent weeks that Dilosk, which is 50.1 per cent owned by Mr McGrath and his brother and co-founder Oran McGrath, may soon find itself taken over, or see minority shareholders exit, a spokeswoman said that this was not in the offing.

“The company has received offers from suitors in the past which have not been pursued by the shareholders. Dilosk DAC is not in negotiations with any potential suitors in relation to a disposal of minority or majority shareholding,” she said.

“The day-to-day operations involve Dilosk being in frequent discussions with investment banks regarding all types of funding requirements to underpin its growth ambitions.”

With other management, directors and family members, individual owners control 66 per cent of the company.

The remainder of the company is held by London-based investment firms Chenavari and Attestor Capital.

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan

Joe Brennan is Markets Correspondent of The Irish Times