We’ll be fine if we learn hard lessons

DAVID FINLAY, INTERMEDIARY BUSINESS DIRECTOR, BARCLAYS

As the economy emerges from the darkness of recession it’s not easy to shake off the gloom.

But it is vital that we don’t dwell on the past and instead nurture the optimism emanating from lenders and brokers.

Although the road to full recovery will be long and slow there are some valuable lessons to be learnt that will stand broker firms in good stead.
The depth and severity of the recession has forced many businesses to look at themselves in a new light and resize.

Forward-thinking brokers have taken steps to refocus and re-energise their business. Many have looked at their revenue streams and adjusted their infrastructure accordingly.

It is this ability to balance costs and revenues that will be critical in the coming year.

But my concern is for brokers who still have not grasped the nettle – those who are still waiting on the sidelines for the good old days to return. The truth is they won’t – at least not any time soon.

We have entered a different era of lending with new rules, constraints and regulatory standards to adhere to. We must adapt to a fresh way of working and evaluating value as well as business and client relationships.

But there’s still a need for professional brokers who give good advice. This is a robust industry and while the recession will cast a long shadow, the old advice to ’live and learn’ has never been more important.