One man's poisonis another's meat

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The Independent Online
Ignoring the fact that it seems to irritate the hell out of borrowers at the receiving end of these deals, the growing propensity of lenders to sell mortgages to one another is probably a healthy development. Centralised lending of the type offered by UCB Home Loans is a creature of the 1980s housing boom. Every bad risk turned down by Abbey National went down the road to the nearest centralised lender.

Typically the centralised lenders were foreign-owned. Now in the mid- 1990s most of their owners have problems of their own; with the UK housing market as dead as a dodo, they want out. Societe Bancaire, which launched UCB and is now selling to Nationwide, is a typical example.

One man's poison is usually another's meat, however. In a market crying out for consolidation, Nationwide has already bought a number of other centralised mortgage books in the past year - from Allied Dunbar, Providence Capitol, Lehman Brothers and Hermes from Denmark's Unibak. Abbey National bought HMC last year and Halifax bought BNP.With the pool of available centralised lenders shrinking rapidly, this happy way of painlessly growing the business for those wholly committed to the UK mortgage market is disappearing fast.