The specialist lending arena has seen a dearth of competition recently, more through the well documented external economic pressures rather than lenders taking their foot off the gas.
But there are some signs of competition returning and we have been buoyed by the response from the intermediary market to our recent product enhancements.
Increased competition from a number of innovative short-term lenders is vital in helping to propel the industry forward. But that’s not to say it is easy.
New funding lines are emerging but lenders still need to keep attitudes to risk in check and target relatively safe areas, while still trying to satisfy growing demand and regulatory commitments.
The end product is predictably only part of the equation and the planning that goes into any tweaks in criteria is justifiably onerous.
This is especially apparent in all things regulatory, which is why we congratulate the Masthaven team on its announcement that it has become regulated.
This is good news for the firm, the specialist market, and for intermediaries in general. The more regulated lenders operating within the short-term and specialist lending arenas the better.
This will help to drive standards higher and quash lingering perceptions of lack of professionalism.
Let’s hope we hear more announcements in this vein during 2011 as they will result in even more competition and better practice being injected into the intermediary market.