Pepper Ireland is to recommence commercial lending due to more favourable market conditions and new opportunities in the Irish market, the company has said.
Trading as Pepper Money, the lender announced it was to cease offering new mortgages to commercial customers following a strategic move last September. Over the previous three years it had advanced loans in excess of €200 million to customers. It has continued to manage that portfolio, which it now intends to expand.
Pepper Money Commercial will advance loans to projects ranging in value from €250,000 to €9.95 million. It is to offer loan terms of up to seven years, with up to three years on an interest-only basis, and with an option to spread payments up to 30 years.
"We are delighted to be in a position to recommence our commercial lending in Ireland. The decision not only reflects improved conditions in financial markets but also growing customer demand and the opportunity to yet again bring more choice and competition into the Irish market, which has always been the Pepper way," said Cormac Ryan, chief executive of Pepper Ireland.
The decision to recommence lending comes as both KBC Bank Ireland and Ulster Bank are exiting the Irish market.
Pepper Ireland employs more than 450 people in Shannon and Dublin, and has more than €18 billion of assets under management.
Mr Ryan said while he expected commercial lending to continue to be a niche part of its overall business, its products have been well received in the past.
“We look forward to building on this success with existing and new customers in the future and, as before, we will be seeking to provide a genuine alternative to the status quo – focusing on progressive criteria, quick decisions and smooth execution,” he said.
Pepper, which sold its €200 million residential mortgage loan portfolio to Finance Ireland in late 2018, first entered the Irish market after acquiring the share capital of GE Capital Woodchester Home Loans in September 2012.
Pepper is a subsidiary of the KKR-owned Australian financial services group which in May raised $500 million (€311 million) after listing in Sydney, in what has been the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in the country so far this year.
The sale of the group's Irish business to Link Group was terminated earlier this year, after the Australian financial services administrator pulled out of the proposed €200 million deal.