Best ABS issuer: Northern Rock
The UK mortgage originator leaves its competition trailing through its ability to innovate in the ABS market.
|Northern Rock generated huge interest with its Whinstone deal
When it comes to innovation in ABS, UK mortgage bank Northern Rock is so far ahead of the pack that there was really only one contender in the field this year. Almost every significant development in the RMBS market over the past 12 months has had the mortgage originator’s name stamped on it. The Newcastle upon Tyne-based lender has a vested interest in pushing the envelope in securitization technology. More than 50% of its overall funding comes from the RMBS market, a proportion that is unlikely to change despite the establishment of a €10-billion UK covered bond programme in August 2004. Indeed, the bank even cleverly applied securitization technology to this programme in early 2005 when it synthetically securitized the risk of a portion of its covered bond book via the Provide Graphite deal. Its securitization activities are dominated by the Granite master trust, backed by prime UK residential mortgages, and it also runs the smaller Dolerite programme, backed by CMBS.
The Granite Mortgages master trust itself was one of the first such programmes, having been established in 1999.