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Keep conversation going with valuers

One of the big changes made by lenders post-credit crisis was the removal of brokers’ ability to appoint valuers.

As a risk mitigation measure, it’s difficult to argue that this was not the right call.In retrospect, there were some regrettable examples of the relationship contributing to the wrong lending decisions being made.

This didn’t help the valuer’s or intermediary’s credibility and the effects for some borrowers were serious, so the situation is unlikely to change in the near future.

Now, lenders or their panel managers distribute work on a more random, arm’s length basis and this is considered best practice.But the old system persists in Scotland and this anomaly is difficult to explain if randomisation is perceived to equate to best practice.

One unintended consequence of the change is perhaps a widening of the distance between intermediaries and valuers.

Rightly, communication regarding any live cases should travel via the lender. But this doesn’tmean more general discussion of local markets and wider issues cannotoccur.

It must be better to start considering applications with an informed view of likely values and underwriting or geographical issues than to be uninformed.

Good valuers should be able to grow the knowledge base of brokers as this can reduce the need to deal later with more time-critical queries.As always, it’s good to talk.


Gross mortgage lending up 24% in May

Gross mortgage lending in May was an estimated £12.2bn, a 24% increase on April’s £9.9bn – taking this year’s gross lending so far to £55.7bn.


Can alternative lenders fill the gap left by high street banks?

Next week Shawbrook Bank is sponsoring the NACFB’s Commercial Finance Expo, where I’ve been asked to join a panel debate to get to the bottom of a question that the industry has been asking for some time – can alternative lenders ever fill the gap left by the high street banks?

Last week’s winner

“Sorry the others couldn’t be here, but somebody has got to clean up after the Jubilee celebrations.”


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