Tuesday, March 22, 2016

News: Norton Finance closing debt solutions business

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Rotherham-based Norton Finance, one of the UK's leading specialists in the loans and regulated mortgage markets, is stopping all debt management work by subsidiaries Ashley Park Solutions and Express Debt Solutions, according to reports in the trade media.

Based on Mansfield Road in the town centre, the family owned business operates as a group of companies including a lending arm and divisions specialising in loans and mortgages and debt management. It employs over 200 people and celebrated its 40th birthday in 2013.

Mortgage Strategy reported on the plans to stop the debt management work and added that consultation is underway with 31 staff.

Paul Stringer, loans and mortgages director at Norton Finance Group told Mortgage Strategy: "This decision has been made for commercial reasons. The remaining Norton Finance Group companies are unaffected by this proposal and will continue as normal."

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In 2012, parts of the group - Norton Finance (UK) and Norton Insurance Services Limited - entered administration. They provided a loan and brokerage service and also advised and sold Payment Protection Insurance (PPI). Midlands doorstep lender and motor finance company, S&U plc acquired the home credit business. A pre-pack deal saw another group company, Norton Finance and Mortgage Limited buy assets from the companies in administration for £10,000.

A year later, the group secured finance from Royal Bank of Scotland Corporate & Institutional Banking (RBS CIB) to use to refinance its existing debt and support its continued expansion plans.

Norton Financial Services changed to Norton Home Loans and the credit facility enabled Norton to increase its existing first and second charge lending and increase loan sizes, reduce rates and use a standard lender fee.

In December 2014, the financing facility limit was increased again to enable the group to originate new lending.

In its financial accounts for the year to April 2015, Norton Finance Group Limited posted a profit before tax of £979k (up from £417k in the previous year) from a turnover of £13.2m.

It reported then that the broking channel of the group saw an increase in volume in business whilst debt management channels continued to suffer low new business volumes.

Norton Finance website

Images: Norton Finance

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