Society clinches Jersey deal

AMBITIOUS Kent Reliance Building Society has sealed its push into the Channel Islands.

The Chatham-based society has set up a new company Jersey Home Loans to offer mortgage and savings products to island residents.

In a deal worth an estimated £50 million, the bank Standard Chartered Grindlays has sold its Jersey mortgage book to Kent Reliance.

The award-winning building society is thought to be the first to set up in the Channel Islands where banks dominate the home loans market.

The deal was signed a few days ago when Mike Lazenby, Kent Reliance chief executive, flew to Jersey for final talks with bank and Jersey government chiefs.

Borrowers and savers will be put through to a call centre in the society's head office in Sun Pier, Chatham.

.Mr Lazenby said: "We are delighted to have completed this sale. Our move to Jersey signals a further change of gear and a significant phase in our planned expansion programme."

Andrew Hunter, chief executive of Standard Chartered Grindlays, said: "Kent Reliance have an established reputation in this field and a commitment to building the business for the future. We are confident that our clients will continue to be looked after professionally and efficiently by Jersey Home Loans Limited."

The move is part of a new growth strategy by Kent Reliance, now one of the fastest-growing building societies in the country and recently named Best Regional Lender by Mortgage Magazine. This year, assets are expected to reach a record high of close to £600m.

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