International bank Investec, which owns Nua Homeloans in Ireland, has agreed to acquire Kensington in a £283m deal.

Kensington specialises in the so-called sub-prime mortgage lending market and has a 64%-owned Irish subsidiary, Start Mortgages.

In a separate trading statement this morning, Kensington said Start had performed strongly, generating what it called 'attractive profits'.
It said Start had completed mortgages worth €303m in the first five months of the year, up from €208m in the same period last year. It added that margins remained strong.