Wednesday 22 November 2017

Global investors want to lend to Irish consumers - Capita

Capita Asset Services chief executive Robbie Hughes
Capita Asset Services chief executive Robbie Hughes
Sarah McCabe

Sarah McCabe

A variety of international investors have shown interest in lending to Ireland's SMEs and small-scale property investors, the head of one of the country's biggest financial-services outsourcing businesses has said.

"There is a growing appetite for property investment in Ireland once again and where banks do not have an appetite for it, non-bank lending will step in," said Robbie Hughes, chief executive of Capita Asset Services.

"We have seen quite a lot of interest from international investors in deploying capital to Irish small and medium businesses.

"They are also interested in lending to Irish consumers for property investments, including buy-to-lets.

"There is a lot of interest in deploying capital to Ireland to lend in new ways and we want to help provide the infrastructure and people to do it.

"After a number of very challenging years for the SME and housing sectors, there are real signs that new forms of lending from Irish and international pension funds, as well as private equity, are emerging due to restored confidence in a resurgent Irish market.

"Non-bank direct lending is expected to develop increased market share over 2016 and beyond, creating interesting opportunities across the business sector.

"This growth in non-bank direct lending is yet another sign of confidence in Ireland as a place to do business."

Capita employs nearly 3,000 people across the Republic and Northern Ireland, providing business outsourcing services for companies and lenders.

Business activities include loan administration, asset management, loan workout and recovery, as well as support services for the banking, fund administration, aviation and life and pensions industries.

It does a large amount of work for Nama, servicing residential mortgage portfolios.

The company plans to add another 200 people to its staff in the next two years, with growth in 2016 driven by increased business and construction activity.

It also operates the new Eircode address-identification system.

Hughes said that despite criticism, Eircode was progressing as planned.

He added: "The system is bedding in well."

The company has just been appointed to service a new €500m residential development finance business, Activate Capital.

Backed by KKR and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), Activate Capital will stimulate house building by providing homebuilders with as much as 90pc debt financing for projects.

Sunday Indo Business

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