Teachers Building Society expands reach
The mutual building society has been offering mortgages to teachers and others working in the education profession since 1966, but has historically only lent to those outside the profession within the borders of its home county Dorset.
In the first stage of a major planned expansion, Teachers has now started offering mortgages to borrowers in the neighbouring county of Hampshire.
Chief executive James Bawa said that the expansion was a reaction to customer demand.
“We’re based on the eastern fringes of Dorset and we’d been getting requests from five miles away but were turning down the business,” he said. “That was a bit of an own goal.
“Portman Building Society used to be strong in this area but since its demise people have been looking for another building society. We want to be seen as a regional building society.
“Nearly 70% of customers have a partner not in education, so we have been lending to non-educational professionals anyway. Our previous approach had been overly cautious.”
Your Mortgage understands the lender will look to grow westwards next, with Devon and Somerset the likely targets for expansion.
“We’ve been going cautiously but we’re confident we can meet business levels and the look to expand again in the third quarter of next year.”
Teachers has increased lending dramatically since its return to the intermediary sector in 2011 and is planning further growth in the next 12 months.
“We’re targeting £55-60m of lending next year and we are looking for intermediaries to make up about 75% of that total,” Bawa said.