It is great to see the positive publicity being generated by short-term lenders entering the market.
This boost to the sector’s profile helps illustrate how buoyant short-term finance is and this will drive competition.
But with such a profile comes a degree of responsibility. It’s vital the industry doesn’t lose the impetus of any positive messages by demonstrating a lack of professionalism. Of course by this I’m referring to the Financial Services Authority’s recent actions in fining and banning the director of a bridging lender.
When it comes to rebuilding any negative perceptions of this sector these reported failings are ones we could do without.
Compliance for short-term lenders must be taken seriously and while I’m sure all new entrants are aware of this and have robust procedures in place, this enforcement action serves as a warning to us all.
Serious entrants with appropriate levels of funding and experience will always be welcome. But it would also be a huge positive if they entered as a regulated entity.
This would help send out the right message, give borrowers and brokers confidence, and continue to build the industry’s improving name.
Only by embracing a regulated environment can we hope that failings by short-term firms will be rooted out.
With this in mind let’s hope 2011 will see the short-term market continue to increase its profile for the right reasons.