US housebuilder Centex has hired three big guns from the financial services industry to lead an assault on the UK mortgage market.
The trio will sit on the executive board of the firm's London-based lending subsidiary Centex Mortgages UK, the first builder-owned mortgage lender in Britain.

Andrew Punch, formerly of Bradford & Bingley, becomes operating director. He is joined by finance director Christopher Higgins, formerly of First Active, and assistant marketing director Gregory Patton, formerly of the Co-operative Bank.

Centex expects to offer loans to British homebuyers from mid-2001.