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Commercial lenders exposed in broker survey

Lendertracking.org has carried out a survey among commercial brokers to establish whether lenders that claim to be lending actually are.

Lendertracking.org says it is campaigning to get Britain lending again.

The survey has also lifted the lid on some of the extortionate fees being charged by lenders, but will not name and shame the banks.

It claims one bank demanded 9% over LIBOR – a rate close to 15% interest, while another quoted a take-up fee of £10,000 for a £3m buy-to-let mortgage.

William Flatau, who owns the brokerage First Finance launched lendertracking.org to bring broker power to the banks.

He says: “Commercial finance brokers are at the coalface of lending to small businesses. We speak to companies large and small, day in day out, and the broker network has valuable information about who is really lending to UK plc.”

The brokers registered with lendertracking.org, represent almost 10% of the commercial broker market in the UK.

Brokers voted Abbey Commercial, NatWest and Barclays among the best performers, with independent lenders like Skipton and Hampshire trust scoring well.

Banks that scored badly for lending practices include Bank of Scotland, The Coop Bank, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Nationwide and West Bromwich. All the high street banks are criticised by some brokers.

Flatau says the survey revealed some banks routinely demanding rates of 4-7% above base, with large arrangement fees to accept the loans. A worrying trend shows the banks jacking up fees to existing clients – many of them with good track records.

Some brokers reported good deals, with high street banks offering – but not always completing – loans at 1.75-2.75% over the base rate; these are deals not far short of the rates on offer before the credit crunch.

Adam Tyler, chief executive of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, says: “It’s now time to get UK plc back on track, and we intend to help make it happen. We will be looking to lobby parliament, and work with lenders, to get the market moving again.”

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