Harley Kagan

Over half of brokers describe business outlook for 2021 as 'challenging'

The latest United Trust Bank broker sentiment poll revealed that 52% of brokers see 2021 as a “challenging” year.

In addition, 4% have described the current year as “worrying”.

However, 44% of intermediaries polled said they viewed 2021 as “exciting”.

The study also revealed that the majority of brokers (54%) have undershot their 2020 business projections.

However, 23% of brokers indicated that their results for 2020 had reached their expectations, while 23% had exceeded their original targets.

Over two thirds (69%) of brokers indicated that, moving forward, they intend to be more mindful of work-life balance once life returns to some normality, with nearly half (49%) wishing to increase their WFH flexibility.

Further investment in the digitisation of application and back-office processes also featured highly on the list of areas in which brokers intend to invest in, as did a greater focus on teambuilding and developing a strong workplace culture.

Harley Kagan, chief executive officer at United Trust Bank (pictured above), said: “The Covid-19 pandemic continues to create challenge and uncertainty, but it’s encouraging to see that 46% of property and commercial finance brokers achieved or exceeded their 2020 targets and many are looking forward to this year with enthusiasm.

“At UTB, our investment in fintech, the hard work of our staff and a resolute commitment to supporting brokers and borrowers enabled us to continue to lend throughout last year and to complete record levels of new business in a very challenging operating environment. 

“We continue to deliver quick and reliable lending decisions despite over 90% of our team working remotely and, although we’re disappointed that a further national lockdown has become necessary, we’re in a very strong position to face whatever challenges 2021 may bring.

“We are already planning several new products, criteria and process enhancements and, of course, further investment in technology in 2021, and our focus remains on supporting our customers and helping brokers to write more business.”

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