At the annual conference of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL), common themes from speakers were uncertainty and the need for caution among bridging finance lenders and brokers, according to a write-up of the September 14 event on BridgingAndCommerical.co.uk.
Faisal Choudry of estate agents Savills, said that buy-to-let investors are facing challenges because of increased mortgage regulations, higher stamp duty, and the removal of tax relief on mortgage interest payments. Lorna O’Brian of the Financial Conduct Authority said that any slowdown in the buy-to-let market will negatively affect bridging lenders. Despite this warning, her opinion generally is that bridging finance is in a good shape at the present time.
Michael Booth QC warned against fraud and that lenders and brokers should be vigilant in spotting unusual transactions, since they need to make sure that they are above suspicion.
Rob Lankey, former NACFB interim CEO, said that it was important for bridging brokers to communicate well with lenders.
The political editor of the Sunday Times, Tim Shipman looked at the political uncertainty surrounding the Brexit negotiations that is affecting the economy.
Benson Hersch, the chief executive of the ASTL, said that the speakers and discussion at the conference were wide ranging, but there was a consensus of opinion that the bridging lending sector is in good shape, although he did warn:
“With uncertainty continuing to dominate the economy and a number of challenges on the horizon, lenders and brokers will need to adapt to the ever-changing environment.”