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Three ways to avoid double dip disaster


Although the recession has been officially over since the end of January, if you’re a commercial finance broker there hasn’t been much evidence of it.

In Q1 this year our members were still reporting that business was significantly down and cases were difficult to place.

But despite the hiatus caused by the muddled general election result there has been an increasing sense of optimism among lenders in the commercial sector, even if this hasn’t yet filtered through to brokers.

I’m delighted that Paragon is looking to return to the buy-to-let market and other lenders are showing an increased appetite too.

This has yet to translate into more broker business but optimism is still in its early days.

Of course the spectre of a double dip recession still surfaces from time to time and it would be irresponsible to say everything in the garden is rosy.

So with the coalition government in place, three things are needed for optimism to solidify into genuine recovery.

First, banks need to sort out their processes. Cutbacks in staff have meant that there is a distinct lack of joined-up thinking.

Second, brokers were not the source of all lenders’ woes – lax underwriting also played its part. And for the record, box-ticking risk procedures do not become more effective by adding more boxes.

Finally, England needs to make it to the final of the World Cup. OK, it might not be essential for recovery but if it’s a feel-good factor we need it can’t be beaten.



AMI warns of a market share attack by lenders

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries believes lenders are gearing up to launch an aggressive campaign through their branches to compete with brokers who are currently taking a bigger share of the mortgage market. The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association has worked out that brokers accounted for almost two-thirds of total mortgage lending in the first three […]



Precise Mortgages and Aldermore entering the market was welcome news while recruitment moves at Portillion and Platform also seem to indicate better times ahead in the specialist sector


New CGT threatens housing recovery

Government Capital Gains Tax proposals could force a quarter of property investors from the housing market, according to a survey by LSL Property Services plc, owner of the UK’s largest lettings agent network.

Regulator seen by public to be as bad as naughty banks

The Financial Services Authority is tarred with the same brush as big, bad banks in a new study by the Reputation Institute which measures the corporate reputation of 140 UK business organisations in its recently released UK Pulse Report. Top of the pile in the reputation stakes are Alliance Boots and Rolls Royce Aerospace, while […]

Bridging is no longer a dirty word

It’s not that long ago that short-term finance, or, perhaps more specifically, bridging finance were viewed as dirty words by mortgage brokers. The rates on offer were punishing, meaning there were only a handful of situations where it would be appropriate to arrange one. Some lenders didn’t exactly uphold great reputations for service standards either; […]


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