To many Nigerians, mortgage is just another word used in English language to express an idea and the reason for what is simple. The word, which is used to describe a bank that provides loans to borrowers so they can buy real estate, does not add any value to an average Nigerian’s well-being or business.
In advanced economies of the world, people don’t save or dip their hands into their pockets to buy houses. They take mortgage loans to do so and pay back in a convenient way to the lender. This is not the case in Nigeria where mortgage is neither accessible nor affordable.
Some Nigerians do not believe mortgage exists as they complain that the interest rates, always in double digits, charged by lenders make it unattractive to home builders or buyers who need the facility. There are also other requirements that borrowers find hard to meet.
There are about 32 primary mortgage banks (PMBs) and other institutions in the country that give mortgage loans to borrowers. Among these, there are just a few that are the most preferred destinations for home loans by reason of their size, friendly loan terms, capitalisation, operations models, etc.
These are Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc; Infinity Mortgage Bank Plc; FirstTrust Mortgage Bank Plc, Platinum Mortgage Bank Limited, and Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN).
1. Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc
Abbey Mortgage Bank Plc, established about three decades ago with a mission to connect well-meaning and hopeful homeowners to affordable housing solutions, is one of the old-generation primary mortgage banks (PMBs). It entered the Nigerian mortgage market as Abbey Building Society.
As one of the seven national PMBs in Nigeria that the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have granted licenses, Abbey prides itself as the best, biggest, and most successful PMB in Nigeria.
It is authorized to lend money under the National Housing Funding (NHF) on-lending facilities and has extended these facilities to both individuals and groups, especially cooperative societies of banks, oil & gas companies and other blue-chip companies.
Abbey also offers services ranging from Popular Savings, Fixed Savings Account, EasySave, Home Account, KidSave, EasySave Plus, Children Savings etc. This means that if you want more interesting and satisfying products or services other than mortgages, you can go for Abbey Mortgage Bank.
The KidzSave, for instance, is a product with up to 5 percent returns that enable parents to secure the future for their children. Parents can save a minimum of N1000 monthly for their children until they turn 18.
2. Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank Plc
Infinity Trust Mortgage Bank (ITMB) Plc entered the mortgage market as Infinity Trust Savings & Loans Limited in January 2002. Over the years, the bank has committed itself to providing access to countless homeownership prospects through effective mortgage service.
It is one of the few quoted mortgage banks in Nigeria having listed its shares on the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s main floor. After this, the bank was designated a National Mortgage Bank in 2014 and today, it owns equity shares of the Nigeria Mortgage Refinance Company (NMRC).
Experts argue that Infinity is one of Nigeria’s top and most well-capitalized primary mortgage banks. It is to its credit that many Nigerian families now have access to affordable housing, having advanced some home loans or facilitated their home acquisition.
3. FirstTrust Mortgage Bank Plc
This is an off-shoot of the merger between First Mortgages Limited with TrustBond Mortgage Bank in September 2019. The two entities have a long history dating back to 2003. It is one of the most capitalised mortgage banks with a strong capital base and assets of over N20billion dedicated to serving the financial needs of Nigerians in terms of mortgage loan services.
FirstTrust is touted as one of the best Mortgage institutions in Nigeria because it helps people gain stability through home ownership, thereby contributing to the country’s development. It hopes to achieve its mission of coming into the market by going beyond the regular delivery of mortgage and real estate financial services, leveraging disruptive technology and its people.
4. Platinum Mortgage Bank Limited
When Platinum Mortgage Bank (PMB) came into the mortgage market, it was called Platinum Home Investment and Mortgage Limited with its headquarters in Lagos. It is one of the old-generation primary mortgage banks that was incorporated in 1992 to provide loans and home ownership services.
After a recapitalization process, PMB became a formidable primary mortgage institution supported by cutting-edge products, services, information technology, and necessary professional management. Over the years, it has joined the league of top mortgage institutions in Nigeria offering services that help home loan seekers to become landlords.
5. Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria
This is the apex mortgage bank in Nigeria and functions as the regulator of all primary mortgage institutions in the country. The bank aspires to be the most preferred mortgage institution offering affordable access to home ownership.
FMBN also supervises the operations of the National Housing Fund (NHF) scheme which offers single-digit interest loans to its contributors. In addition to this, the apex mortgage bank helps home seekers with a Rent-Own-Own housing scheme which enables tenants to become landlords.
FMBN recently signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Family Homes Funds (FHF) to deepen the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians. It was established as a replacement for the Nigeria Building Society.
Source: Business Day