Editor's Letter: Why are we still talking about a bridging qualification?

If you haven’t already seen, the latest copy of the Bridging & Commercial Magazine has landed, and is there a better way to end the year than with an Education Issue?

I often feel in life that the bigger picture is frequently misunderstood or frankly, ignored. For example, in February, a rover landed on Mars in a mind blowing operation to search for signs of ancient life — one of the most outstanding NASA missions that will get us closer than ever before to answering some of science’s longest-standing questions about the Red Planet and extraterrestrial existence. Yet, I would bet big bucks that more people have talked about billionaires Bezos’ and Branson’s (pointless) race to space.

I consider the topic of a mandatory standard in our market overlooked in a similar way. Seven years ago, a bridging qualification won industry support, yet nothing has transpired since. This is despite constant conversation, articles and disputes that the range, depth and sophistication of all brokers’ knowledge is not as good as it should be. In the grand scheme of things, the answer is quite simple, yet the short-term thinking of the market has resulted in many lenders adamant that they wouldn’t change how they treat enquiries from those who aren’t qualified to take them in the first place. While 66% of the sector believes we should have a certification of some sort, I delve into why this hasn’t happened yet and what needs to shift to make it something other than a pipe dream.

If this is a bit heavy to start your read, you can find exclusive data from Market Financial Solutions and VAS Group over the next few pages in order to get the latest sentiment from property investors and why the gap between expected vs actual commercial property valuations has narrowed over the past two years.

Later in this issue, expect to be schooled on how offshore bridging works and whether it’s the next export industry for the UK, how an asset manager can save time and money in specialist finance, whether stepped rates are out of step with the bridging market, and top tips from eight brokers on how to sharpen your negotiation skills.

You can also read an abundance of exclusive interviews; Spring Finance has decided to try its hand at bridging after recruiting Claire Newman, Salboy prepares to launch its new joint venture partnerships offering, and Alan Margolis and D’mitri Zaprzala discuss their mission to realise an ambition to lend more than £500m annually at Avamore Capital.

Behind the scenes (and between the many mince pies, eggnogs, and parties of December), the Bridging & Commercial team has been planning for an exceptionally exciting year ahead for the magazine. Thank you to everyone who has supported us during 2020 and already confirmed their patronage for the next 12 months. We couldn’t tackle the concerns of the industry without you.

On that note, we all wish you a very happy holidays and a well-deserved rest. See you next year when we announce the highly anticipated Power List!


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