US mortgage operation to shut UK arm

Transamerica Lending Company (TLC), the direct mortgage operation, is shutting shop in the UK and axing 60 staff only seven months after its 2m advertising launch.

Year-long contracts for agencies TBWA Payne Stracey and TMD Direct will be honoured.

Last May TLC ran a 2m advertising launch on satellite TV and national press to create leads for its phone-based operation, offering mortgages to people with bad credit ratings.

But US parent Transamerica Lending Corporation, previously the fourth largest independent consumer-lending company in the US, has now pulled the plug on its UK arm.

The company was forced to shut down its direct mortgage operation in the States, in September.

“We analysed the results in the UK and they didn’t meet the criteria for further investment,” says TLC (US) vice-president of corporate communications Bill McClave.

“It is consistent with what we are doing in the US where we are pulling out of consumer lending to focus on our core business areas,” he adds.

TLC UK president Kieran Hedigan, drafted in from Computer Sciences Corporation to build a direct operation, will leave next week.

TLC (UK) is inviting bids for its 23m mortgage portfolio.

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