Duncan Kreeger: 'A compulsory qualification could lead to worse outcomes for borrowers'

Duncan Kreeger, CEO at bridging lender TAB (pictured above), is of the opinion that a compulsory qualification in the short-term finance market could deliver “the wrong result”.

The comment was made following a broker survey at TAB’s new headquarters launch party in Borehamwood, which saw 70 people in attendance, comprising brokers, solicitors, borrowers and staff.

Throughout the evening, the finance provider invited guests for short interviews and quizzed them on numerous industry topics.

One such question was whether the industry needs a short-term finance qualification for the unregulated aspect of the market.

It follows a deep dive by Bridging & Commercial Magazine in December 2021, where we revealed that two-thirds of brokers and lenders within the bridging industry are in favour of one.

The argument around making it compulsory and, arguably successful — which was heavily debated at last year’s FP Show — was much murkier, however.

Out of the 26 brokers who took part in the filmed survey at the TAB event, 38% called for an industry qualification.

However, the results were split, as 38% disagreed it was needed, while 23% were undecided.

Duncan believes that the vast majority of bridging professionals want the industry to progress, and highlighted that the professionalisation of the sector has been key to market growth.

“At TAB, we want to do our bit, and that's why, for example, we have committed to making our lending as transparent as possible, giving access to real-time information and educating the market via TAB University.  

“Lenders should be doing their best to ensure that their customers understand the unregulated lending space in as much detail as possible.”

Duncan said he wanted to see brokers doing the best possible job on behalf of their clients, too.

“That means working with highly-skilled, experienced brokers, and I wouldn't want to stop working with great brokers because they didn't have a few letters after their name.

"A compulsory qualification might deliver the wrong result — look at what happened with IFAs when qualification requirements were changed; a lot of older, highly experienced, brokers left the market and moved on. 

“I don't want to see that expertise lost from the market because of a tick-box exercise. 

“A compulsory qualification could lead to worse outcomes for borrowers — that's my number one concern."

In November 2021, industry associations FIBA and the ASTL announced their plans to create a programme of education for the commercial property finance industry, in partnership with The London Institute of Banking & Finance.

During the FIBA Annual Conference in March this year, Adam Tyler, executive chairman at FIBA, revealed that the organisation hopes to launch the course by the end of 2022.

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