FIBA and ASTL develop framework for commercial property finance education programme

FIBA and the ASTL have teamed up to launch a proposal for an ongoing programme of education for the commercial property finance industry.

The associations are working with The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) to create a series of optional e-learning modules.

They will cover the basics on specialist property finance and the structure of different types of businesses that might require it, with specific information on bridging and development finance, commercial mortgages, and specialist BTL.

There will be insights into how each area works and is underwritten, and the differences within each sector. 

The course will also look at some of the key planning considerations needed in commercial property finance, including permitted developments.

The programme — which will be recognised through the award of an LIBF digital badge and accredited for CPD purposes — aims to help educate new entrants to the specialist property finance industry who are either joining a lender or diversifying into the sector as a broker.

“For many years, I have been involved in education for our sector, and these latest discussions are successfully building upon the previous groundwork,” said Adam Tyler, executive chairman at FIBA. 

“In conjunction with the ASTL and The LIBF, we have now developed the essential framework to complete the building of an education programme that will suit all elements of our industry. 

“The early indications are that we have plenty of support to progress, and this is for all of us to work together to reach the right outcome.”

The final module of the programme will include a series of case studies, where students will be given different scenarios and have to identify key information, such as how the lending will be categorised, what key additional information the broker will need to package the case, how it will be underwritten, and the likelihood of it being agreed.

The course will be reviewed and refined by key stakeholders on an ongoing basis in a bid to promote the most appropriate behaviours and results.

Vic Jannels, CEO at the ASTL, commented: “Increased learning and education is always a positive thing and, as we all work towards making the whole borrowing experience more comfortable and less mysterious for our consumers, the best outcome will always be through advisers who know their subject and lenders who have a more holistic understanding of the whole process. 

“We won’t be insisting that our members only work with brokers who have been through the programme, or that brokers only work [with] lenders whose employees have completed the course, but we want to encourage engagement across the industry — not just as a one-off participation, but as part of an ongoing environment of continuing learning.”

John Somerville, head of financial services at The LIBF, added: “We’ve been working closely with FIBA and the ASTL to develop a quality education programme to improve professionalism and standards within bridging and development finance. 

“Our aim is to help those in the sector — brokers or lenders — develop a greater understanding of the industry, as well as each other’s policies and procedures to improve efficiencies and, ultimately, customer outcomes.”

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