Editor’s note: Accentuate the positive

It’s easy to focus on the negative when faced with challenge or change.

You only have to take a look at Twitter on any given day to find it riddled with complaints from angry commuters and hard-done-by consumers; I’m definitely guilty of this, as my social media followers can attest.

It’s the more controversial comments that tend to draw the most attention – positive news can often fall by the wayside.

Since the start of the year, the mortgage industry has been hit with an abundance of new regulation, tax changes and guidelines, while also having to ensure that consumers are treated fairly in the ever-watchful eyes of the FCA.

We hear the outcry from many, but what about looking at these challenges from a different perspective by regarding them as an opportunity?

Earlier this week, a broker contact put it to me that the tougher underwriting standards for buy-to-let, announced recently by the PRA, presented an opportunity for advisers to reinforce their position in the marketplace as experts, while also providing them with the chance to get in touch with clients and explain the rulings. After all, what would ‘CP11/16’ mean to anyone outside the industry, other than sounding like a distant relative of C-3PO…

Another esteemed contact pointed out that advice would be more crucial than ever among buy-to-let investors because the barrage of changes to tax charges and relief might be hard for landlords to digest.

She highlighted that the need for advice might be even more prevalent with regard to limited company borrowing, as many of these deals are provided by lenders not typically on the high street.

The differences in criteria for these types of loan could be difficult to navigate and this is one area where advisers can prove their worth.

As Sir Winston Churchill – an oft-named all-time hero of Mortgage Strategy’s One to One feature – is quoted as saying: “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

Wise words indeed.