Brokers respond: More varied securities key to lending success

Brokers respond: More varied securities key to lending success

More brokers value honesty and transparency as part of a bridging lender's practice than any other attribute, a recent survey has found.

More brokers value honesty and transparency as part of a bridging lender’s practice than any other attribute, a recent survey has found.

The answers came in response to Central Bridging Loans’ (CBL) recent broker survey, which asked of its respondents: “What can CBL do for you as a lender?”

Responses to the survey were varied, with a number of intermediaries citing that a widening of traditional lending criteria to include a larger range of security properties, including a more comprehensive selection of commercial premises.

The majority of those that commented, however, said that “clarity” and “flexibility” in everyday deals were the keys to their success.

One broker requested that lenders should “be clear and concise about what you require from the outset”. He added: “[CBL could] provide a quick answer about whether the deal is right for you, so that we can move on and offer our clients the best service. Bridging is all about speed of delivery - it’s that simple - clients will pay the rates provided we can deliver quickly.”

Many others highlighted the need for and up-front and candid approach to lending criteria and decision-making, with one individual adding that lenders should “be as good as their word and do what they say they will.”

Some responses detailed a number of areas in which the lender could extend their offering in, including lending in Scotland and making funds available to charitable causes.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, a number of brokers said that an increased procuration fee or more readily-available commission would be the one improvement to CBL’s service that they might require.

As previously reported in B&C, almost half of the 170 intermediaries questioned believed that the biggest problem currently facing the bridging industry was its negative image in the public eye.

One broker highlighted a need to “name and shame the ‘cowboys’ who give the industry a bad name”, while others repeatedly highlighted a need for “transparency” and “honesty”.

In response to the survey’s findings, CBL has planned a number of augmentations to its lending processes in order to make its proposition more attractive to brokers.

Speaking about the lender’s reaction to the questionnaire, Chris Wilson, Director at CBL, said: “In CBL’s recent survey of brokers, just over 48 per cent cited the negative perception of the industry as bridging’s biggest problem. It’s not surprising, therefore, that the Financial Services Authority advised bridging lenders to take responsibility for educating introducers about the difference between regulated and unregulated cases.

“CBL is working hard to ensure that we are leading the way in providing informative and incisive information to help educate introducers. Our aim is to improve awareness of the difference aspects of FSA and CCA regulated lending so brokers know what applies to what lending scenario. This can only benefit the industry in general as poor & inaccurate underwritten lending often results in bad press, which reflects on us all.”

In particular, CBL will be adapting their operations in order to accommodate new entrants to the bridging market, which 22 per cent of brokers identified as a problem in the industry.

Chris said: “As the bridging finance market continues to grow we are seeing an increasing number of new entrants, particularly in the non-regulated markets where introducers have moved across from other areas of finance. For these relatively new introducers, it can take time to understand the requirements and nuances of different lenders.

He added: “If information is lacking at the initial enquiry stage, accuracy and the speed of decision making may be flawed, and may ultimately lead to a loan being unenforceable if not set up correctly.

“Robust and clearly defined exit strategies are key to the decision making process for bridging finance, which takes on greater importance if refinance is sought as the exit plan.”

On the subject of educating brokers about bridging finance, Chris added: “In order to ensure CBL is communicating its requirements clearly, we have produced a downloadable guide that clearly and simply sets out CBL’s criteria and the information we need from introducers in order to make a decision quickly.”

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