Pepper offering big loans to firms with historic credit issues

Spicing up the commercial lending market here...

Australian lender Pepper Money has set up a new sales division to begin offering commercial mortgages in Ireland from later this month.

Loans ranging in value from €250,000 to €7.5 million will be made available to businesses or investors wishing to refinance existing loans or acquire new property assets.

Making this a unique offering is the fact that Pepper has pledged to lend to borrowers with historic credit issues, as long as they are up-to-date on payments for the past 18 months.

Interest rates will start at 5%, subject to certain conditions, and Pepper says it hopes to write €300m in commercial loans over the next two years.

Pepper originally entered the Irish market to service or manage loans passed on by banks and other financial institutions hit by the financial crash and began selling residential mortgages early last year.

A growing number of non-bank lenders – such as Finance Ireland  – are entering the commercial mortgage market to lend to businesses and individuals who wish to refinance loans that have been acquired from their original banks by third party lenders.

Paul Doddrell, chief executive at Pepper Ireland, said:

"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."

Pepper's entry into the residential loans market was welcomed last year as experts called for a sector dominated by three big mortgage banks to be given a shake-up.

The company now employs over 400 people in its Dublin and Shannon bases.