Your Views: Barclays most at risk from Brexit?

Barclays is most at risk from a Brexit? Try telling them that…

The news that analysts deem Barclays the British bank most at risk from a Brexit is at odds with Barclays’ own summation of its position, I feel.

I have just attended a seminar where Barclays was pushing its SpringBoard mortgage. Given that this scheme pretty much relies on the future increase in a property’s value so that the borrower can return their parents’ cash deposit after three years, you would think Barclays must be expecting property prices to rise, not fall – unless it is the initial cash deposit it is interested in at this time, to help balance the books for the next three years…
Samantha Cox, Whichers IFA

Release of lending data is of little use without the regional variations

The CML says buy-to-let lending dropped by 65 per cent between March and April.

Such releases of data are pointless other than to state the obvious in that imposing property taxes creates a surge followed by lower activity levels.

It would have been useful to receive a sense of regional variations, to assess whether the increased tax on second property ownership has had the intended consequences for London.

And how about the rest of the country? Many areas have property surpluses and I would like to know the net effect of the tax increase on these communities.

What were the forecasts, and how helpful or harmful has this truly been?
Steven Balmer, David Allen Financial Services

The merry-go-round will close down if we don’t attract new entrants

I was at a seminar the other day with a number of underwriters and fraud managers. They were from different-sized companies across the bridging industry but had one thing in common – they were all aged over 40.

When we were discussing the biggest risks facing the industry, a common concern was that there were not enough new people entering the industry.

This cry has often been heard regarding mortgage brokers, numbers for whom are reputedly down to about 12,000 from more than 30,000 before the financial crisis, but it seems the issue is widespread.

This leaves us with a merry-go-round of qualified staff who move from one lender to another. There must surely come a day, however, when there are not enough staff to go around.

What the industry needs to do is attract more new entrants. Without them, the risk of losing good staff gets higher and wages are constantly pushed up.

I have heard that the need for qualifications and the volume of regulatory changes are blamed for low numbers joining the industry, but I don’t think the younger generation is affected by these things. I also don’t think anyone joining the industry needs to have achieved a high level of exam qualifications.

What is needed is practical training – possibly an apprenticeship- or internship-type scheme.

Negative press about the mortgage industry in national newspapers also may put off young people.

Every sizeable firm should offer coaching and on-the-job training to increase the pool of bright young people in the industry and ensure its survival. If we do not do this, despite growing demand for both long- and short-term mortgages, there will not be enough people to deal with the enquiries and market growth will be stunted.

Benson Hersch, Association of Short Term Lenders