The £1bn prediction: Top bridging lender's view

The £1bn prediction: Top bridging lender's view


West One Loans has predicted that, come summer 2013, the bridging finance industry will be seeing the amount in gross loans breach the £1bn mark.

The housing shortage, demand for property investors and buy-to-let investors and the lack of alternative funding on the high street – alongside the boom in the private rented sector and professionalization of the industry, are given as reasons behind the estimated rise.

The privately funded bridging lender has based this on the market worth rising from £700m a year in 2010, to £750m at only the half way point in 2011. The anticipated growth in market worth has spurred West One to hire more staff, in order to deal with extra business.

Jason Fantini is being appointed as a BDM with a remit to develop new broker relationships outside of London. Fantini, who joined the company on Monday August 15, will be responsible for developing new broker relationships across the UK and in particular outside of the London region. 

He joins from London based Bespoke Bridging Finance and has previously held senior positions within Barclays Bank for over 16 years. Fantini will be joining current BDM Manish Babla in ensuring West One Loans is fully represented across the UK.

Duncan Kreeger, Chairman of West One Loans said: “The amount the industry is lending has grown significantly over the last six months. Conservative estimates suggest lenders are writing £750m worth of business every year at the moment, which is about 7 percent more than in the winter of 2010.

“There is no reason why the factors at work – including the growth in the private rented sector, strict lending criteria on the high street, and the professionalization of the sector will not continue to drive the bridging market. 

“In those circumstances, the market will grow at a similar rate over the next two years. That will see us break the £1bn barrier by the summer of 2013. 

“As a specialist provider of short term bridging finance, we are benefitting from the trend and to deal with the new business, we’ve had to ramp up our expansion and start hiring more staff. That will soon start to happen across the industry.”

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