Harley Kagan, United Trust Bank

Over 60% of brokers likely to maintain more home working after pandemic

Some 63% of brokers suggested that they would be likely to maintain flexible and more home working even once the pandemic is over, according to United Trust Bank's most recent broker sentiment survey.

It also highlighted that 17% of brokers indicated that it was unlikely their business would ever return to the working arrangements which existed before the lockdown.

The data revealed that 40% of brokers are currently working with less than a quarter of their staff typically in the office, although 72% of respondents expect to have all their staff back on a regular basis by the end of October 2020.

When asked about current distancing measures, 74% of brokers believed that the 2m limit was not harming their business and a slim majority (51%) support maintaining the social distancing rule.

However, 41% would like to see distancing reduced to 1m and the remaining 8% would like social distancing removed altogether.

“The relaxation of social distancing measures and travel restrictions has enabled many staff to return to work, though clearly it will be some time before brokers and lenders can be fully staffed, and that’s if they choose to return to the same working practices they had in place before the pandemic hit,” commented Harley Kagan, group managing director at United Trust Bank (pictured above).

“Technology has certainly made flexible and home working a viable and sustainable option for many businesses and UTB’s considerable investment in fintech over the last two years has been money well spent.”

The survey, carried out among over 120 brokers in the last week of June, revealed a largely positive view about their ability to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown.

Some 53% of property and commercial finance brokers have reported that they are open for business with 100% of their pre-Covid-19 capacity.

It also found that 18% of intermediaries are operating at around 75% capacity.

Around 15% of property finance brokers seeing lower levels of activity believed business would recover in Q3, and a further 40% expected levels to return to normal in Q4 this year.

The remaining 45% of brokers expect the recovery to take longer, into 2021 and beyond.

“It’s encouraging to see that a vast majority of brokers are open for business with many capable of dealing with enquiry volumes similar to those prior to lockdown,” added Harley.

“The threat of a second wave of Covid-19 is ever present and avoiding another widespread lockdown is vital to the recovery of our industry and the UK economy as a whole.

“Recent events in Leicester show how easily the pandemic can resurface and extend disruption and we hope brokers, colleagues and customers stay safe and well.

“At UTB we’ve been fortunate in being able to keep lending and serving our customers throughout the Covid-19 crisis and sympathise with individuals and businesses experiencing difficulties.

“We are supporting good causes such as food banks, Refuge and Age UK to ensure they can continue to get help to those who need it.”

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