Venn Partners has launched Venn Hypotheken, a Dutch residential mortgage lender in the Netherlands.

The company first announced plans to launch a residential mortgage arm in The Netherlands last year.

It will use the Venn Hypotheken arm to increase its annual mortgage lending to €2bn by 2018.

Venn Hypotheken will finance its loans through RMBS, fund products and direct investment, with insurance companies and pension funds expected to provide the majority of its funding.

Marc De Moor was last year recruited to lead the new business.

De Moor, previously chief executive at Argenta Nederland, said: “The Dutch mortgage market will benefit from the entry of a new lender, as it will spur competition and give consumers a greater choice of borrowing options.

“It is the second-biggest mortgage market in Europe, has recovered well with the revival of house-price growth and has characteristics, such as a strong intermediary network and a limited pool of domestic mortgage lenders, which makes it very attractive for a non-bank lender such as Venn to expand its operations and build a sustainable business.”

The company said its mortgage products would be marketed through intermediary networks in the Netherlands, responsible for around 60-70% of new mortgage lending.

The Dutch mortgage market, one of the strongest credit markets in Europe, has higher mortgage rates than other comparable mortgage markets following the withdrawal of international lenders and increased regulation.

While around 70% of new origination is provided by domestic banks, it is expected to fall closer to 50% in the coming years, with the resulting market share going to more competitively priced non-bank lenders.

Venn Partners invested in a €500m prime Dutch residential mortgage portfolio in 2013, buying the book from GE Artesia and refinancing it through Cartesian.

The UK government hired the company last year to manage its guaranteed residential bond programme, aimed at institutional investors. 

The Department for Communities and Local Government awarded the asset manager a mandate to operate the £3.5bn (€4.4bn) Private Rented Sector Guarantee Scheme.