Empowering the Freelance Economy

Barclays enters self-employed mortgage market

Mark Arnold, CEO of Kensington Mortgages
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Kensington Mortgages, a specialist mortgage lender that caters to the self-employed, has been sold to Barclays Bank UK PLC. The sale follows an auction process that attracted a broad range of bidders, highlighting that the freelancer economy is gaining the attention of investors and the financial services sector.

The lender was sold by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities and Sixth Street, which have jointly owned the business since 2015. The deal, however, is still subject to regulatory approval.

Kensington is a residential mortgage lender focused on providing mortgages via brokers to borrowers with complex incomes. Using a combination of proprietary technology, data analytics and human insight to design products and make lending decisions, Kensington focuses on the self-employed and those with multiple or variable incomes – segments that major banks often do not serve.

Last year, Kensington launched its Income Recovery for the Self-Employed mortgage, so that those clients whose income took a hit can still be considered for a mortgage by looking at an average over their last two years’ accounts, rather than just their latest figures.

The business, which is based in Maidenhead and has around 600 employees, services approximately £8.7 billion of third-party and related party mortgages in addition to the KMC Mortgage Portfolio. Kensington originated approximately £1.9 billion of mortgages in the year ended 31 March 2022.

Mark Arnold, CEO of Kensington Mortgages said, “As a major UK bank with a broad reach and offering, Barclays is well-placed to support this expansion, whilst the sale will allow it to differentiate itself as a ‘mainstream specialist’ and offer a range of mortgage solutions not available from competitors.”

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