Bridging & Commercial asked Scott (featured in the video, above) how business has been since Roma returned to lending on 1st May (after it had temporarily stopped accepting new business applications amid the Covid-19 crisis), to which he replied it had seen an “upward trajectory”— especially since the housing market reopened.
“I'm more excited about the future of Roma than I've ever been,” he declared.
He added that Roma has had “the most unbelievable support” from its funding lines.
“I see that there will be [a] shake up of our industry — and that's going to be a good thing for the people [and] professional businesses within it.”
Scott highlighted that volatility creates opportunity and the lender was backing people with good buying prospects.
“No one knows where the market will end up in terms of property values; it might come off [by] 5%, it might come off [by] 10%,” he said.
B&C asked Scott what he expected the landscape of the bridging market to look like going forward in terms of competition and product offerings.
“…I think we will see that some companies will come out of this stronger and some companies will come out of this weaker,” he responded.
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“The ones that come out of this weaker will be those that have done questionable lending in the beginning ... and that means that their liquidity position [and] funding lines are affected,” he explained.
In contrast, he expects professional lenders that are “customer centric” will not only survive, but “thrive”.
“…Roma will be one of those companies and … I [believe] that we will become one of the bigger players in the market from the opportunities that present themselves over the next three to 18 months.”
Last month, Roma relaunched its bridge-to-term product to give borrowers longer-term security for property investments, and has continued to bring back sales staff from furlough, including in the last seven days.
In a previous article which announced that Roma had increased its bridging LTVs to 70%, Scott stated that the pandemic had given businesses a new perspective on continuity and innovation.
B&C asked what he thought the bridging market would learn out of this and whether the sector will see permanent change.
Scott says that working from home had helped to “empower” its staff.
“As a business, we are working more efficiently than we've ever worked before because our people have been empowered to make decisions,” he said.
“That will continue to grow and develop and [even] when we come back into the office, which we will do at some point, I think we'll find that our staff have grown in stature, experience and in their capabilities.”
Roma Finance has also confirmed that it has recently made some "significant" appointments, which Bridging & Commercial will exclusively reveal soon.