View more on these topics

FSA’s interest in bridging cue for industry to get its house in order

As 2012 draws to a close, I think I speak on behalf of a lot of people in the industry when I say it has been another barnstorming year for bridging — and alternative finance generally.

JONATHAN-SAMUELS.jpg

The industry still lacks a definitive index of exactly how much it is growing by but the strong datasets emerging from lenders and packagers alike suggest that loan volumes have risen considerably this year.

It’s unlikely this will stop in 2013, either.

The high street lenders remain acutely cautious and figures released this week from the Bank of England show that the Funding for Lending Scheme has got off to a shaky start — and there’s every reason to believe it will remain shaky next year.

So, as we enter 2013, the fate of alternative finance providers is very much in their own hands.

For me a key development this year, and one which will be decisive next year, was the FSA’squestioning of whether retained interest is compliant with MCOB (Mortgage Conduct of Business) regulation.

Essentially, the FSA believes that there are instances in the past when regulated lenders have not properly explained the retained interest calculation method to borrowers.

Some have suggested this is a negative development, and is the FSA cracking down on a sector that cannot be trusted, but for me it is all about the regulator taking far greater interest in our sector for the simple reason that it is now so much bigger — and more mainstream.

As I see it, the FSA’s focus on retained interest should be a cue for the industry to get its house in order.

For the bridging sector to reach its full potential, it needs lenders and brokers that are in it for the long term, and committed to changing the sector from what it used to be to what they want it to be: above-board, transparent, trustworthy and focused on the end-borrower, not their own financial gain.

If we want the sector to grow, then we have to accept that we will be in the spotlight more and more. But that’s part and parcel of success.

In summary, 2013 could be the year when our industry reaches its full potential and formally ‘arrives’, or it could be the year when it comes close but ultimately fails to deliver.

I know which of the two I want it to be.

Recommended

4

Santander removes Highclere from broker panel for abusive language

Santander has removed Highclere Financial Services from the Abbey for Intermediaries broker panel with immediate effect, following accusations of him using abusive language towards its employees. The lender has written to Highclere partner Alan Lakey, who is also a council member on the Association of Professional Financial Advisers, to inform him of the decision on […]

Lloyds sets out options for reform of proc fee structure

Decision-in-principle to application ratios will not form part of any changes Lloyds Banking Group makes to its procuration fee structure. Lloyds director of strategic partnerships Peter Curran says a final decision on whether to pay proc-fees based on quality has yet to be made. But he has ruled out using DIP levels as a metric […]

Three catalysts for European equities

By Rob Burnett, Manager of the Neptune European Opportunities Fund In recent weeks, the bear case for European equities has become more pronounced on the back of weaker-than-expected GDP data and deflation concerns. This softening in economic momentum has led some investors to question whether the ECB is behind the curve and indeed whether it […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up
Comments
  • Post a comment
  • Peter Parker 6th December 2012 at 11:52 am

    Can you confirm whether you have your house in order in respect of interest charging, or are you still charging the old way?