Birmingham and London-based Offa, the UK’s first Shariah compliant bridging lender, today announced it has agreed a significant funding line from the Shariah compliant bank, Gatehouse Bank.
Since it launched in the Autumn of 2019, Offa has seen strong demand for its residential and commercial bridging finance products which range from £100,000 to £10m and have a maximum FTV (finance to value) of 75%.
Offa provides finance to UK residents, expats and international investors based overseas. It finances individuals, sole traders, partnerships, limited companies, LLPs as well as on- and offshore SPVs.
This year, Offa will be further developing its product range, adding a refurbishment, stretched development, planning and shared risk ethical finance facility (a Shariah compliant equivalent of a Joint Venture).
Bilal Ahmed, Head of Operations, Offa, commented:
“Since we launched, demand for our Shariah compliant bridging finance products has been far stronger than anticipated and this new funding line will help us to accommodate it. The brokers we’re dealing with see what we’re offering as a real value-add for their clients, not to mention a key differentiator. With the property market now on a stronger footing, we are looking forward to establishing a real foothold in the market during 2020 and helping Muslims and non-Muslims alike expand and enhance their portfolios through this quick and highly flexible form of finance.”
Shamim Chowdhury, CEO, Precept Finance, added:
“It’s fantastic to finally be able to offer clients Shariah-compliant bridging finance. Muslims who would typically avoid this type of short-term funding because it didn’t meet with their beliefs can now do so and we expect this market segment to expand significantly as a result. Of course we don’t only expect our Muslim clients to gravitate towards Shariah compliant bridging: it is also highly attractive to non-Muslims not just because of the ethical values that underpin it but because of the flexibility it offers. For example, Offa will not penalise borrowers if they choose to make a lump sum payment or pay financing off early, as that would go against Islamic financing principles. It also helps that the application process is no different to a standard bridge and the back office support team at Offa are second to none. We are already close to completing on two bridging loans with Offa and will be sending much more business their way in the weeks and months ahead.”
Paul Stockwell, Chief Commercial Officer, Gatehouse Bank, commented:
“The synergies between Offa and Gatehouse are clearly very strong and we are looking forward to helping establish Shariah compliant bridging finance. There’s a huge amount of untapped demand and Offa will go quite some way to meet it.”