ASTL Conference 2019: An increase in bridging loan conversion rates could be 'worrying' from a regulator's perspective

An increase in bridging loan conversion rates may draw FCA attention to the sector, according to a leading industry figure.

This opinion was voiced by former FCA mortgage sector manager Lynda Blackwell (pictured above) at the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) Annual Conference yesterday (20th November).

As uncovered in the first issue of Bridging & Commercial Magazine earlier this year, annual conversions between bridging loan applications and loans written stood at around 19% in Q3 2018.

We found that conversion rates have not been above 20% since March 2017.

Looking at these figures, Lynda stated that it was a “huge” dropout rate, compared with other secured lending sectors, such as BTL and residential.

“The worrying thing from a regulator’s perspective is the potential for the market to reduce the fallout rate.

“And how do they do that? By moving up the risk curve.” 

Lynda added that the FCA regulated to the “lowest common denominator”.

“…It just takes one firm to do something not right and that has an impact across the entire market.”

She explained that while there were “very few” firms in the market that don’t do the right thing by the customer, it’s something that an industry standard could help to improve.

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