2008 the hardest year of all in the secured market

To say that it has been an easy month would be an understatement.

On a business level, I think it is fair to say that the whole industry is bumping along the bottom and hoping that the next few months after the summer holidays will see signs of an upturn.

As far as Loan Options is concerned, my decision to restructure the business was the hardest one I have ever taken.

While it has provoked negative comment, as well as some particularly personal attacks, I have been encouraged by the number of industry leaders and introducers who have been supportive of the move that was made to safeguard jobs, pipeline business and procuration fees.

However, regardless of what has happened, what needs to be said is that 2008 will go down as the hardest year for all of us in the secured loans industry.

It also stands to reason therefore that we should all be united in looking for ways to help the industry recover.

My company won’t be the last to consider ways of getting through this period but I hope that if and when it happens to others, we won’t spend time like vultures dissecting the carcass, but look to provide positive support for any business which finds itself in trouble.

The work done by the AFB will be a vital asset in helping the industry adapt to meet the challenges before us and the appointment of Barney Drake to the board is a positive for the industry.

Drake has direct first hand experience of the intermediary market and I am sure his input will be extremely valuable to the debate.

We really need to get behind our trade bodies, which are best placed to bring political pressure to bear, which we as individual companies cannot manage.

We know that secured loans can bring high rewards for investors and in the future will be a very profitable area for lenders, intermediaries and their clients again…

Now we just need some confidence to return for liquidity to reappear.