Burgess paul2

Startline Motor Finance is reporting a strong reception for its new mid-market ‘flexible prime’ motor finance product as it calls for a different approach to the sector.

The product, called Finishline, was launched in June and has since been adopted by most of the company’s major introducers.

It is targeted at used car buyers who narrowly fail to meet the company’s current lending criteria but are still considered to be good quality applicants.

CEO Paul Burgess said: “We find ourselves in the position of having to invent vocabulary for the products that we are introducing because we operate in a market that tends to think in terms of simply prime and sub-prime.

“Instead, we are engineering a range of products that more carefully grade applicants and offer them pricing and terms commensurate with their real-world risk profile.

“So, if our core, flexible prime Startline product is designed to sit behind a dealer’s prime lender, typically meeting the needs of a sizeable portion of those rejected, then Finishline is ‘mid-market’ and designed to accept a further tranche of applicants.

“These people remain good risks, we believe, and Finishline is priced much more fairly than the sub-prime lenders where these customers may otherwise be placed by dealers.”

Burgess said it was unfair that buyers who fall slightly below prime lender requirements very often end up using a sub-prime offer and argued there should be other options.

He added: “We believe that, with a shifting social and economic landscape signifying changes in home ownership and employment patterns, this makes absolute sense and, if the economy enters a downturn, will be even more relevant.”