Pepper Money retreats from Irish lending market, citing ‘challenging conditions’

Shannon-based group to cease commercial lending business

The Shannon-based group services about 60,000 residential mortgages on behalf of third parties as well providing finance itself in Ireland

The Shannon-based group services about 60,000 residential mortgages on behalf of third parties as well providing finance itself in Ireland

 

Mortgage servicing and lending firm Pepper Ireland is to cease commercial lending in Ireland, citing “increasingly challenging market conditions”.

The Shannon-based group, which services about 60,000 residential mortgages on behalf of third parties as well providing finance itself, informed clients it had ceased originating commercial loans here following a strategic review of operations.

It said it would continue to manage and administer existing facilities, and that the move would not impact on existing terms and conditions.

The group exited the residential mortgage market in 2018 via the sale of €200 million worth of residential loans to Finance Ireland.

It is now ceasing the commercial loan side of the business while maintaining the asset servicing arm, which employs over 400 staff.

“Pepper Money’s decision to cease providing further commercial lending was taken following a strategic review, and is a consequence of increasingly challenging market conditions, reduced availability of funding and ongoing volatility and uncertainty,” it said in an email.

A spokesman said commercial lending accounted for less than 5 per cent of Pepper Ireland’s total revenues in 2019, and its commercial loan book had roughly 200 clients.

“The decision means that Pepper Ireland will not be originating any new commercial loans in the Irish market, and Pepper Money has now ceased all business development activities relating to its commercial mortgage products,” he said.

“The decision will have no impact on existing borrowers who already hold Pepper Money commercial loans. These loans will continue to be serviced by Pepper and the terms and conditions remain unchanged,” the spokesman said.

Other roles

“Reflecting the ongoing growth of its servicing business, Pepper Ireland hopes to be in a position to redeploy the vast majority of the team involved in commercial lending to other roles within its expanding loan servicing business,” he added.

Pepper Ireland manages loans acquired at a discount from other institutions after the 2008 financial crash, including portfolios acquired from Bank of Scotland (Ireland) after it pulled out of the market here, Permanent TSB and Danske Bank, as well as loans sold on by so-called vulture funds.

Last year it took over 3,000 non-performing mortgages from Ulster Bank.

Pepper Ireland had €18 billion of assets under management at the end of last year, including approximately 10,000 commercial loan accounts.