Pepper Money, a unit of an Australian loans giant which has Irish bases in Shannon and Dublin, has said it will provide corporate loans for the first time in Ireland after it identified a huge demand for companies and professionals to refinance existing loans or buy new properties.
It will come up against a range of lenders who have targeted lending to small companies, including lending to professionals, which some small lenders claim have been ignored by the big banks despite the fast-growing economy.
Pepper said it will advance the commercial loans at amounts starting at €250,000 and up to €7.5m. It will charge rates starting at 5% for the loans and accept applications from borrowers who have had a chequered credit history but were now meeting their payment agreements.
Loans of up to 80% of the value of a property will be advanced and it plans to start selling through its own sales division later this month.
Pepper’s plans will add to its existing operations as a provider of services to residential mortgages and other corporate loans to lenders such as Danske, which is currently running down its mortgage homes book in the Republic.
Last year, Pepper confirmed plans to offer new residential loans in its own right.
On its latest expansion, Paul Doddrell, chief executive officer at Pepper Ireland, said that the time was right to offer commercial loans.
“It was always our intention to expand our lending offering to include commercial products and to date we have been successful at attracting customers by offering more choice and competition for all borrowers but especially those with otherwise limited options,” he said.
Pepper’s entry last year into the residential loans market was welcomed by experts who said it offered a glimmer of hope of shaking up the home loans market dominated by the three big mortgage banks.
Pepper Ireland employs more than 400 people in Shannon and Dublin. The Pepper Group, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, has operations in Australia, Asia, and Europe. Its shares have risen almost 33% since the start of the year.
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