Award is magic for Sunderland's Genie

(from left) host Mark Dolan; Genie Head of Finance Joanne Bell , managing director Steve Hicks; Head of Risk and Compliance Richard Anderson and judges chairman Mark Sismey-Durrant.
(from left) host Mark Dolan; Genie Head of Finance Joanne Bell , managing director Steve Hicks; Head of Risk and Compliance Richard Anderson and judges chairman Mark Sismey-Durrant.
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A pioneering Wearside scheme to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder has won national recognition.

Genie, a 30-year Home Purchase Plan which doesn't need a mortgage or deposit, was named Best Financial Start-Up in the BBA/IFS Financial Innovation Awards.

Steve Hicks, Managing Director of Genie, said: “Genie is a truly innovative solution to the dysfunctional housing market and we are thrilled to have won this award.

”Genie was developed by social enterprise Gentoo and we are currently in talks to make Genie widespread across the UK and to help even more people into homeownership.”

Acting Gentoo chief executive John Craggs said: “This award is recognition of the work and dedication put into Genie by a fantastic team.

“Our responsible business philosophy means we aim to help as many people as possible to live in good quality housing.”

Genie works by allowing buyers to acquire an increasing share in their property through a 25-year payment plan.

Earlier this year Genie signed a deal with the Greater London Authority which will see it access up to £40million of loan finance to deliver 2,000 new homes in the capital over the next 10 years.

It is currently looking to work with developers in London to acquire new build properties, development land and joint venture opportunities.

The London investment follows Genie’s successful pilot in the North East of England which has seen 98 families move into homes of their own.

Alex Fraser, Principal at ifs University College, said: “All of the entries to these awards demonstrate the quality of innovation that is hugely important to the future of our industry.

“Our congratulations go to all of our winners, highly-commended nominations and indeed to every project showcased. It is through projects like these and the creativity that has made them possible that will enable financial institutions to meet the expectations of emerging generations of consumers.”