Masthaven FSA approval spurs call for bridging firm regulation move

Masthaven Bridging Finance has gained its Financial Services Authority approval it was revealed last week, with more bridging lenders believed to be awaiting approval.

The lender says it is ready to open its doors to first-charge owner-occupied lending.

But gaining FSA regulation has been a lengthy process as it initially approached the regulatory body back in 2009.

Roger Morris, head of sales at Affirmative Finance, says Masthaven’s approval is cautionary for those bridging firms who aren’t regulated.

He says: “Why would a broker, who is regulated, want to use a short-term lender who is not regulated? Most short-term lenders have applications with the FSA but many are struggling for approval.”

Andrew Bloom, managing director of Masthaven Bridging Finance, says it is an important strategic move for the company.

He says: “In recent years obtaining FSA regulation has become much more difficult and the success of Masthaven in achieving this is a credit to the company and its employees.”

Adrian Bloomfield, chief executive of the Association Short-Term Lenders, says an increase in regulated firms will lead to greater consumer choice.

He says: “Gradually the coverage of regulation will extend. I think it is inevitable that we will see more loans become regulated with regulators having wider powers.”

He adds that although it takes a long time it is understandable the regulator is being careful after what has happened in the last few years.

Alan Margolis, head of bridging at United Trust Bank, welcomes the fact that another lender is to be regulated.

He says: “We see it as a positive step for brokers and customers, that another lender has chosen to become authorised, as regulated lenders are required to offer the highest standards of transparency and fair treatment.”

And Guy Garrard, head of business development at Tiuta, says it is great news for intermediaries. “Dealing with a regulated lender is a different market and it provides added security for brokers. The more short-term lenders that choose to be regulated the better.”