Some 58% of bridging firms expect to see foreclosures increase

If I had to describe the first three months of 2023 in one word, it would probably be ‘intense’.

While the industry continues to ride the rollercoaster of interest rate hikes and inflation in the double digits, we witnessed two major international banks fall hard. On a more positive note, the specialist finance sector has been buzzing with activity, with numerous firms rejoicing at the high levels of business they’ve seen during Q1.

With so much going on, now is the perfect time to take an in-depth look at the state of the specialist finance industry, and that’s exactly what we’ve prepared for you in this issue. Once again, we bring you an exclusive analysis of the bridging lending landscape, courtesy of EY’s sixth UK Bridging Finance Market survey. We’ve dissected all the facts and figures—trust us, there were a lot—to see how the sector has fared over the past 12 months, and what the growth trajectory for this year looks like. We also lift the lid on the commercial finance space with five experts answering our burning question: is there a light at the end of the tunnel for this market?

With the recent acquisitions of Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse, it was high time for us to revisit the outlook on M&A in our sector and its impact on product choice and service levels. And, as we’re close to the sixth year of the Grenfell Tower tragedy, we review where the property market’s at when it comes to fire safety.

With several hard-hitting features over the following pages, we wanted to balance things out with some great success stories: MSP Capital’s head of broker relations speaks to us about how being reliable and consistent helped the lender double its loan book in two years, while Cornerstone Capital divulges the reasons behind its surprising expansion into England. LendInvest’s new head of bridging Leanne Ardron talks about her extensive career up to date and the value of technology, Memery Crystal’s new partner Laura Brown shares her plans for the company and highlights what makes a law firm great, and MFS CEO Paresh Raja showcases how optimism and a will to succeed can get you through the toughest times.

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