Posted on Monday 4 March 2013 by Ulster Business

First Trust Mortgage Fund Launch 1

Brian McCormick, Head of Mortgages and Tracey Ferris, Mortgage Consultant, launch First Trust Bank's new £250m mortgage fund.

First Trust Bank has created a £250m mortgage fund which it says shows its commitment to re-energising the Northern Ireland housing market.

The bank – a subsidiary of Allied Irish Banks - is also launching a range of new mortgage products targeting first time buyers, switchers and home improvers.

As part of its strategy to make mortgages more accessible to customers, the bank also announced it has introduced a team of mortgage consultants throughout its network to manage applications at a local level.

First Trust said the plans reflected some signs of improvement in the housing market and a recent increase in customer demand for mortgage lending. It also confirmed it was keen to increase its share of the mortgage market in coming months.

Brian McCormick, Head of Mortgages at First Trust, said: "The new mortgage fund and range of competitive products are a firm indication that we are indeed open for business. We are beginning to see signs of recovery in the housing market as well as a new appetite from customers to either get onto the property ladder, switch their mortgages or to borrow funds to renovate their homes. Our customers told us they wanted competitive rates and an easy application process, supported by experienced local staff. With this strategy, we believe we are now in a strong position to meet that demand with compelling and competitive mortgage offerings to suit most situations.

He added: "In addition to the new product range, the creation of a specialist mortgage team with local decision-making will ensure customers receive specialist local support to meet their unique requirements. While there is still a long way to go before the market fully recovers, we hope this strategy will go some way to helping it on that upward journey."

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