Housing mortgage investor DMFCO eyes UK for growth


A €25bn Dutch asset supervisor is searching for regulatory approval to promote housing mortgage investments common in Europe to UK pension funds, aiming to persuade sceptical institutional traders nonetheless scarred by the position the asset performed within the 2008 monetary disaster.

DMFCO — an investor managing greater than €25bn of mortgages within the Netherlands — is in talks with the Financial Conduct Authority for clearance to lend and handle housing loans within the UK.

It has additionally been assembly with potential backers, together with giant retirement schemes and insurers, to steer them to take a plunge right into a market nonetheless related to the worldwide monetary disaster 15 years in the past.

UK pension funds, among the many largest in Europe, have largely evaded publicity to dwelling loan-related investments for the reason that 2008 disaster, when securities that included low-quality mortgages have been bundled up right into a bond and offered to traders.

DMFCO argues its mannequin is totally different from the residential mortgage-backed securities and structured merchandise that supply earnings primarily based on funds from many particular person mortgages. Instead, traders put their cash immediately right into a pool of mortgages and earn the next return, however tackle all the chance. DMFCO stated it’s concentrating on “premium” debtors with good credit score historical past.

“It is quite a simple model, institutional investors, including pension funds, with very long-term obligations and we essentially match them with housing owners who also have a long-term need to finance their residential property,” stated Rogier van der Hijden, managing director of DMFCO.

Its transfer comes as the normal lending market is quickly reshaping. New sorts of lenders, backed by institutional traders similar to pension funds and insurance coverage firms are starting to compete with the banks which have historically dominated the market.

Investment advisers say that more durable regulation for the reason that 2008 disaster, together with steeper credit score checks on debtors, had addressed many considerations over investing within the sector.

Since its basis in 2014 DMFCO has originated round 100,000 Dutch mortgages, with 32 traders, together with insurance coverage firms and huge pension funds, backing the loans with their investments, averaging round €800mn every. It goals to do its first deal in 12 months within the UK, if it wins regulatory approval.

“There is a stigma over residential mortgage investments due to the [global financial crisis] but that is now largely unwarranted,” stated Simeon Willis, chief funding officer with XPS Pensions, a pension consultancy.

But Gregg Disdale, head of other credit score at WTW, previously Willis Towers Watson, stated many pension fund trustees should must really feel “comfortable” earlier than taking any direct plunge into housing loans, significantly round credit score danger checks. In specific direct housing loans are much less liquid than an RMBS, a traded safety.

“Institutional investment in residential mortgages in Holland has been attractive to pension funds because it has typically tended to be much longer dated than the typical UK mortgage, like 10-15 years, which provides a more stable asset for investors,” stated Disdale.

“In the UK, as the market has tended not to offer long-dated fixed-rate products, it doesn’t necessarily have the long-dated certainty of cash flows that you get in the Dutch mortgage space,” he stated.

Moreover pension funds are more and more conscious they’re being focused by with new merchandise.

Mark Fawcett, chief funding officer with Nest, the £22bn UK office pension plan, stated he was conscious that residential mortgage-backed securities have been being urged to giant retirement schemes. “We said we didn’t want any of that as we could not be sure of the underlying risk,” stated Fawcett. “We are being very selective.”

Source: www.ft.com