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News > General News > OP revolutionises the UK mortgage market with new bank

OP revolutionises the UK mortgage market with new bank

Perenna Bank, co-founded by OP Colin Bell, is set to disrupt the UK mortgage market with its flexible, long-term, fixed for life mortgage products.
27 Mar 2024
Written by Rachel Dare
General News
Colin Bell (left) with co-founders Arjan Verbeek and Hamish Peacocke
Colin Bell (left) with co-founders Arjan Verbeek and Hamish Peacocke

OP Colin Bell (84-89) is Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Perenna Bank, an innovative digital bank which gained its full banking licence in 2023 and is set to revolutionise the UK mortgage market by offering flexible fixed rates for 20 to 40 years and beyond.

Perenna Bank is the first pure covered bond bank in the UK mirroring a typical European structure where mortgages are funded by issuing covered bonds and not through deposits. This allows it to offer flexible long-term fixed for life mortgages, which give people more borrowing ability and no risk of payments rising.

Colin said: “For decades, consumers in the UK have seen very little mortgage product innovation and lending processes remain largely inefficient, inflexible, and slow. Long term fixed rate mortgages provide a very simple and easy helping hand to affordability and stability, avoiding the stress of sudden interest rate hikes, and giving consumers financial peace of mind. “

“With the flexible product, your rate is fixed, but you can change your mortgage without exit fees after five years giving you the choice to remortgage when the time is right for you or the market is optimal for rates.  Also having no maximum age at any time allows borrowers to run their mortgage as long as they like and also allows people to enjoy the wealth they have built up in property later in life.”

After raising over £42m worth of funding in 2023 alongside participation from existing investors (taking total raise to £80m), Perenna soft launched its first mortgage product in the last quarter of 2023, with their full product launch already rolling out this year to the wider broker market, marking a major milestone for the rapidly growing company.

Colin commented: “Reaching this milestone in our business journey fills us with immense pride. Alongside my two dedicated co-founders and our exceptional team at Perenna, this achievement stands as a testament to our unwavering commitment and innovative spirit. The road to obtaining our banking licence was no easy feat; it demanded five years of relentless effort and determination.”

“As we reflect on our journey, it's clear that such accomplishments are not merely about obtaining a piece of paper or meeting regulatory standards. They represent the culmination of countless late nights, tireless brainstorming sessions, and unwavering faith in our vision. In an industry where breakthroughs are rare, we dared to challenge conventions and pioneer a new approach to the UK mortgage market and banking sector.  In 2023 we were the only start up to gain a full banking licence.”

Colin has over 25 years’ experience in financial services, across both mortgage advice and lending. During this career, Colin also set up a mortgage lender for a US parent where he was CEO – InterBay – which he sold to J.C. Flowers & Co., now part of OneSavings Bank. 

To find out more about Perenna, visit the company website www.perenna.co.uk or connect with Colin on LinkedIn.

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