Malaysian property lender targets Manchester in UK launch

HS Credit, part of Malaysian conglomerate Hap Seng, has launched in Greater Manchester as its first UK operation, and plans to lend an initial £150m to schemes across the country.

The specialist real estate lender said it aims to provide tailored funding for commercial property owners in England and Wales, including secured, term, bridging and development finance loans ranging in size between £250,000 and £10m.

Starting from its Greater Manchester base in Stockport, HS Credit UK expects to lend more than £150m by the end of 2020, according to its newly appointed chief executive Stephen Jennings.

“We intend to offer something different in a crowded marketplace by bringing back the days of true relationship lending,” he said in a statement. The bank will be able to tailor loans according to customers’ requirements, he added.

Prior to his appointment, Jennings spent a decade at the Yorkshire-headquartered financial institution UK Asset Resolution, before moving to Australian stock transfer company Computershare where he was customer operations director.

He previously held senior business banking positions at Santander UK, Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, and Co-operative Bank.

HS Credit is owned by Hap Seng, a Malaysian stock exchange-listed diversified conglomerate with a market capitalisation of more than £4.5bn.

Hap Seng’s majority shareholder is LSH, the world’s largest distributor of Mercedes Benz cars, which has a portfolio of Mercedes Benz dealerships across the UK.

In Greater Manchester, HS Credit will operate out of the LSH-owned Mercedes Benz dealership building in Stockport.

Its next UK opening will be Birmingham in April, followed by Leeds, Bristol and Nottingham. It intends to create a network of 10 UK offices in the years ahead.

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