Business Irish

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Anglo Irish now doing residential mortgages to get value

Emmet Oliver Deputy Business Editor

Published 25/01/2011 | 05:00

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Anglo denies it has become a general provider of residential mortgages, but it is helping some home buyers with mortgages where it helps sales to happen and projects to become fully sold. Photo: Getty Images

Anglo Irish Bank, which is gradually winding down its loan book, is now providing residential mortgages to help encourage buyers to purchase apartments and houses at some of the projects it funded in the boom.

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Anglo has never before been in the mortgage market and during the 1990s and early part of this decade, it used to boast about not having direct exposure to the residential market.

It now strongly denies it has become a general provider of residential mortgages, but it is helping some home buyers with mortgages where it helps sales to happen and projects to become fully sold.

The practice occurs where developers and construction companies, who have borrowed from Anglo, are unable to sell out a project because home purchasers have not been able to get mortgage finance.

Stepping in

In those instances, Anglo is stepping in with the finance, often in combination with the developer/builder, the Irish Independent has confirmed.

Industry sources familiar with the practice told the Irish Independent Anglo believed it was the correct approach if it helped to maximise the value from its legacy loan book for the taxpayer.

The practice is particularly common in the Anglo US loan book, with Anglo prepared to take a batch of individual mortgages, but insisting on a guarantee from the developer or construction company.

In this way, the bank believes it is "warehousing'' the mortgage until credit is obtained from elsewhere, usually from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the core supporters of the US mortgage market.

Anglo is currently running down its entire loan book and its deposit book will also eventually be spun off to another institution, most likely AIB or Bank of Ireland.

Before Christmas the chief executive of Anglo, Australian Mike Aynsley, in a letter outlined the bank's future was in squeezing as much value as possible from the old loan book, much of it built up by Sean FitzPatrick and David Drumm.

"This will take many years to work through,'' explained Aynsley.

Irish Independent

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