Masthaven pays out £1.4m in commission, with over half going to bridging brokers

Since March, Masthaven has paid £1.4m in commission to its intermediary partners, representing over 2,000 customers who have had access to funding during this time.

More than half of the commission payments were made to bridging brokers. 

“We have seen a very strong level of performance [throughout] the period in terms of bridging,” Jon Hall, chief commercial officer and deputy CEO at Masthaven told B&C.

In addition, Masthaven’s broker portal — defined by Jon as a “gamechanger” — has had over 400 registrations since its launch in February, one third of which are new brokers to the bank.

Rob Barnard, director of intermediaries at Masthaven, divulged that it was attracting more general mortgage brokers, many of whom had shied away from bridging in the past — because they thought it was hard, difficult, and complicated.

“The fact that they can transact business with us now, in a portal, very similarly to how they transact mortgage business, it feels less alien to them,” he said.

He believes this has been a “really big help” for brokers to get into the bridging market and deal with a lender whose approach to bridging is similar to long-term lending. 

The lender aims to further use the portal as part of its underwriting process and is currently working with Dock9, a digital solutions agency, to make decisions quicker and the experience more helpful for the bank’s staff and its brokers.

Masthaven’s bridging loan application levels are up 30% both on Q1 and year-on-year, which Jon attributed partly to the bank being “more accessible”.

B&C asked what advice the lender would give brokers who are new to bridging to help speed up the application process.

“Bridging is a more complex product; often, it has a number of different permutations in terms of beneficial owners and limited companies,” Jon explained.

He emphasised the importance of getting to grips with the applicant’s “story” and how that background came to be.

“Just understand that and then you'll have a good starting position to pick things up with the underwriter.”

The specialist bank has also hired 27 new colleagues across the business, including Kaitlyn Pitt, a new senior underwriter to its bridging team.

Jon added that refurbishment was going to be a focus going forward, and it is currently reviewing where the gaps in the market are in terms of housebuilding and development finance, in addition to building out this team.

“We are absolutely very keen to get back to supporting self-build and SME housebuilders,” he confirmed, stating that this was a “key area” for the lender to look at for Q1 2021.

The full interview can be watched below.

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