The Financial Intermediary & Broker Association says it wants to target a growing market need for a specialist mortgage trade body.
The trade body, formerly the Association of Bridging Professionals, rebranded and announced its new direction last week.
Now spokesman Wayne Smethurst has revealed more about the ambitions and approach of FIBA in an interview with Mortgage Strategy.
Q: What is the background of this, and who are you targetting?
A: It has evolved from the AOBP, which started when bridging finance was less prevalent. A lot of bridging lenders have now evolved to be more generalist. So we’re widening the remit, so it’s not just about bridging.
There is a definite need in the trade body market for people to have more access and more training, knowledge and information about specialist mortgages and products, those who haven’t really got anywhere to go and call their home. That’s why we’re going for this.
If a broker has any plans or intentions to engage with specialist lenders they are welcome to join and be a member, and access that additional support and information regarding specialist products. I suppose we are not looking to open our doors to vanilla, standard lenders or brokers. It is not about standard mortgages.
Q: Why are you launching this now?
A: There is a definite need in the market for more information, training and specialist education. As the market has grown and lenders have come back to the market, I think the need has grown. I think it was a matter of time before someone put two and two together and filled the gap.
Q: How will FIBA interact with existing trade bodies?
A: I think they are complementary. There will always be a bit of overlap, but there are different trade bodies for different sectors of the market. I think this is one that specifically needed filling. People can be members of more than one.
Q: What are your ambitions for this trade body?
A: We want it to be a professional trade body that supports the industry and helps people comply with their regulatory obligations, with SimplyBiz support behind us and contracts that we’ve got with lenders, who are very keen to access specialist intermediaries and help educate them.
It’s a question of connecting the various stakeholders in the specialist market, all working for the greater good. I think there is a huge opportunity here for everybody to do everything a little bit better.