B&C Awards 2022: Categories announced

We are excited to reveal the categories for this year’s B&C Awards, to be held on Thursday, 15th September 2022.

The 2022 awards — in association with Precise Mortgages and InterBay — will take place in the evening, starting at 5:30pm at the Hurlingham Club in Fulham. 

Companies and individuals from the specialist finance market will be competing for 22 of the 25 awards, while the remaining three — Outstanding Contribution, Editor's Choice and Marketing Partner of the Year — will be determined by B&C.

For this year’s ceremony, B&C has combined the previous two Best Development Lender awards into an all-encompassing one.

It has also added two new categories — Specialist BTL Lender of the Year and the 2022 ESG Award — following increased popularity for these two areas.

For each category, we encourage voters, firms nominating themselves and judges to consider their participation against the broader backdrop of positive change. 

Social responsibility, company diversity, progressive office culture and attitudes towards transparency, collaboration and open dialogue should all be factored into which businesses receive these titles.  

Online voting will open later this month.

This year, we are asking judges to apply to be a part of the broker and lender panels — anyone interested should email their CV and a cover letter to Medianett Publishing’s managing director, Caron Schreuder at [email protected], detailing why they would be a good addition to one of the panels.

The full list of the B&C Awards categories and their descriptions can be found below. 

The guidelines are intended to provide some clarity on how the awards are judged, but the list is not exhaustive — we expect in all instances for firms to go above and beyond in order to win an award.

Best Bridging Newcomer — Broker

A firm which has entered bridging in the last two years and has had a remarkable impact on the sector in that time. This broker must observe principles of TCF, have a whole-of-market, customer-focused approach, display innovation and support industry evolution, have great relationships with lenders and professional service providers and true acumen when it comes to the product. 

Best Bridging Newcomer — Lender

This lender must have entered bridging in the last two years and truly added value in what is a very saturated market. Nominees must have a level of product innovation or development that sets them apart, or perhaps they have assembled an outstanding team, or invested in unique advances in technology and systems. Feedback from both the broker and borrower community must be exceptional and they need to be on the right side of industry evolution in bridging. Their standards and treatment of customers should be irreproachable. 

Best Commercial Broker

Nominees in this category display a thorough understanding of the commercial mortgage sector and have excellent relationships with providers in the space. A penchant for the structuring of complex deals, identifying opportunities and working with lenders to progress products are all desirable attributes. 

Specialist Product of the Year

An accolade for the lender who is best in class for a specific product. This could be something which is unique and offers a new solution for both brokers and borrowers, or simply the exceptional execution of a product which is more widely available. Who makes the provision of that product consistently seamless, efficient and a pleasure? 

Best Development Lender

A ground-up development finance provider facilitating deals of any size, and which works closely with the broker and developer community to support residential and/or commercial projects. From fantastic customer service, to flexibility and desire to consider any type of scheme despite the current market challenges, this award is designed to honour the lender which has shown exceptional commitment to the sector and played a key part in accelerating its evolution.

Mezzanine Lender of the Year

An outstanding provider in this niche tier of finance which collaborates keenly with senior lenders and brokers alike.  

Underwriter of the Year

Often relegated to behind the scenes, outstanding underwriters are critical to longevity in lending. These credit decision makers develop strong relationships with brokers and borrowers and ensure that cases are kept moving, displaying true understanding of their lender’s criteria, appetite and areas of expertise. Underwriters are responsible for finding solutions for customers and structuring alongside the broker/borrower with a view to the best possible outcome. 

Marketing Partner of the Year

A B&C award, this title is for the company who has excited us over the past 12 months through dynamic campaigns that are arresting, effective and shift perceptions in the market. 

Best Bridging Broker

This is the broker who best exemplifies the expertise needed in placing and advising on bridging cases, observing the core hallmarks of speed, flexibility and great service. This broker maintains contact with the lender and borrower throughout the loan and always has one eye firmly on the exit. This firm should represent the direction in which we all, as an industry, should be moving.

Best Valuation Partner

The more we hear of valuation being an art and not a skill, the more important it becomes to highlight exceptional providers in this area of professional services. Firms in this category can be valuers, surveyors or panel managers.

Best Development Broker

Working with developers and finance providers, firms in this category understand the complexities of the debt stack and securing finance for projects and schemes. These brokers maintain a close relationship with all parties throughout the lifetime of the loan and its various tranches, managing expectations and progress to ensure a smooth path to completion and eventual sale.

Commercial Lender of the Year

Supporting the beating heart of our economy, commercial mortgage providers help finance the growth of UK enterprise. These lenders display outstanding service to brokers and borrowers, understand the various opportunities presented within the differing subsectors and are striving to innovate and develop their offering to serve more borrowers’ needs. Often still seen as the domain of the high street, we would like to seek out those of the newer guard who are true specialists in this area.

Regulated Bridging Lender of the Year

Figures show that more and more regulated bridging deals are being done, equating to an increase in homeowner borrowers being serviced by the product. First charge residential bridging should still be fast, smooth and efficient, making that auction purchase, chain break or refurb opportunity a reality. This lender offers regulated short-term loans that are still personal and leave both the broker and borrower having had a great experience.

Service Excellence — Lenders

Nominees for this award must put service and communication with brokers and borrowers at the forefront of their lending principles. Do they stick to what they have agreed? Are rates and fees clear and transparent from day one? Is documentation streamlined? Do they employ the use of tech for a better user experience? Is their treatment of customers consistent with TCF principles and is borrower feedback positive? Do they listen to brokers and use this information to assist in innovating and developing their offering? Is the team knowledgeable, personable and available? How do they treat default and extension cases?

Service Excellence — Brokers

A lot of emphasis is being placed on brokers’ qualifications, acumen and level of advice given when it comes to unregulated transactions. Until such time as we have something formal for brokers to adhere to, we should expect them to commit to service levels that are appropriate to the product and borrowers’ needs, every time. Nominees here will advocate for the client in all instances; display clear and consistent communication with all parties, including professional partners; work towards the seamless delivery of the deal in as short a time as possible; have the required relationships with lenders and other providers in the chain to achieve the clients’ objectives; be in support of the exit strategy and work with the client to ensure that their loan is repaid on time; operate whole of market and understand what is best and most suitable for borrowers at all times; and regularly contribute to the betterment of the wider industry by having open dialogue with providers, participating in events and media opportunities and supporting the community through initiatives that deliver progress.

Best Specialist Distributor

While the number of brokers and IFAs into the specialist space grows, so does the need for distribution partners who really know their stuff. Taking the relationship side of things to another level, these firms understand lending criteria inside and out and work with introducers and lenders to create an unparalleled experience for all parties. These firms deliver packs that eliminate unnecessary back and forth and, crucially, they are experts at identifying problems and mitigating them in advance. As well as having access to volume, emphasis must also be firmly on the quality of these introductions and healthy success rates.  Their solid relationships with mortgage and longer-term providers and a thorough understanding of how the exit will manifest ensures that deals are in safe hands.

Best Solicitor

Professional advice is paramount in this market and working with a legal firm who specialises in this sector can make or break the overall success of deals. Here, we are looking for solicitors who respect the timescales often at play in bridging, communicate effectively with the borrower’s representation, aid the swift flow of documentation and signing, and know what to look out for when it comes to the risks specific to short-term lending.

Regulated Bridging Broker of the Year 

This brokerage has adopted bridging as a mainstream offering and knows how to deploy it intelligently within a regulated framework, understanding how consumer clients can benefit from the product. The prevalence of bridging in the home-owner market is becoming more pronounced, but who is doing it best?

Best Specialist Bank

The past few years have represented a rebirth of banking and the options available to consumers and brokers alike. Nominees for Best Specialist Bank are the ones who are truly challenging the products offered by the incumbent providers. Service, talent, innovation, technology, range of products and pricing are all factors that put this lot above the rest.

Specialist BTL Lender of the Year

This lender will be offering something unique to the BTL market that is popular with brokers and landlords alike, giving flexible options to those that are not currently served by the high street so that they can embrace new opportunities. This finance provider constantly listens to the market’s needs in order to bring out products that suit the requirements of property investors during a time when they are actively modifying their portfolios and reacting to ERC and tax changes.

2022 ESG Award

This company has made bold strides to encourage and incentivise the property finance market to make positive and noticeable environmental, social and corporate governance changes. This firm doesn’t pay lip service to ESG, but has embodied it from the top down, boosted awareness of its importance to the wider sector, and brought tangible results.

Lender Relationship Manager of the Year

It can be said that the right BDM, relationship director, head of sales, key account manager can alter how a business is seen. Those who are out in the field are representing the very best that the lenders have to offer, creating partnerships that are long term and fruitful for all concerned. Personality and a thorough understanding of what their lender and can’t do is paramount for this category. Has this person changed how you work with the lender for the better and engendered you to work more with them?

Editor’s Choice Award

B&C relies on the support of a sources and other trusted parties to continue to bring exclusive content to you, our readers. While many businesses lend their time, knowledge and advice, resulting in stories that are richer and more well-rounded, there are a few who deserve special mention for helping to drive us forward and giving us the confidence to push boundaries. This award is decided on by our publishing director, Beth Fisher.

Bridging Lender of the Year

The big one. This lender may have dramatically changed their offering and service over the past 12 months, making them a stand-out contributor to all that is great about our industry and a beacon for its future. Or, it could be a lender who has stood the test of time, remains perennially supportive of brokers, has a solid offering and one which we could not imagine life without. You decide—but they must be the very best.

Outstanding Contribution

A B&C-decided award, we honour an individual who has worked in the market for a considerable amount of time and left/continues to leave their mark in more ways than one. 

For all table and/or sponsorship enquiries, please contact our managing director Caron Schreuder at [email protected] 

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