A New Year, but no sign of a thaw - The Commercial View

A New Year, but no sign of a thaw - The Commercial View


In a new monthly feature, Jonathan Rubins of commercial lender Alternative Bridging Finance gives us his take on what’s happening in the current commercial markets... 

As we all rub our eyes and reach for the Alka-Seltzer to usher in the New Year (or was that just me?), I am sure that I am not alone in wondering that now the snow has gone, can we expect a thaw in the lending world?


Early commentary and sentiment from late last year would indicate that this is unlikely, and despite numerous commentators, politicians and advisory groups urging the banks to release their tight grip over their collective wallets, their cries go unheeded.


Many who had hoped that a requirement to generate fees would have starved the banks into submission and kick-start lending must have been dreaming.  Whilst this sorry state continues, alternative lenders (bridging lenders and private equity) are happily making hay while the sun steadfastly refuses to shine. 


One bridging colleague recently mentioned to me how surprised he was at the level of new proposals he is seeing - presumably these would normally have been provided by clearing banks.


All-in-all, one borrower’s comment that, “2011 can only be worse than 2010 if I die” seems to be a sentiment shared by many, and of course, we all hope he is right.  But don’t hold your breath: release appears unlikely to come from mainstream quarters for some time yet.  Bah, humbug...

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