‘Everyone here is keen to get stuck in and help TAB grow’

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Duncan Kreeger TAB

Bridging lender TAB has joined the Bridging Loan Directory to tell more brokers about its plans to open up real estate lending to everyone in the UK.

The business, which was set up in 2018 by Duncan Kreeger, who is well experienced in the alternative finance industry, specialises in all types of short-term property finance from residential and commercial bridging loans to refurbishment and development finance.

TAB’s online platform allows people to invest in its property backed bridging loans for returns of up to 9.00% per year. It also offers the chance of fractional property ownership for up to 8.85% return per year and any potential capital uplift.

“You can go in and register, manage and track your portfolio online” explains Duncan Kreeger, CEO and founder of TAB. “We want to make investing in property and loans a more efficient process. We also want to open up real estate for everyone.”

The aim, with the help of its in-house tech team, is to build a similar bespoke platform for brokers and borrowers.

“We have already started accepting loan applications through our online application form, and we are in the process of creating a functionality for brokers and borrowers to log on and track what stage their loans have reached,” Kreeger explains.

“That will include discovering whether there are any outstanding items that TAB underwriters are in need of. They can also easily see how many deals they have done with TAB and make new enquiries.

Again, we want to make the whole process more efficient and seamless. If brokers and borrowers can view the information they need without flicking through 10 sheets of paper then that is just going to speed every process up.”

He added: “We are not creating anything new. We are using what is out there and trying to do it more efficiently. We don’t want any borrower having their loan delayed.

On an underwriter’s checklist there are a number of things which have to go back and forth between broker and borrower to collect the necessary information. With this platform we can put all the necessary information in one accessible place.”

The plan, which Kreeger says reflects the group’s key values of trust, transparency and innovation, could complete early summer. It promises to keep TAB on an upward trajectory .

The group had a total loan book of just under £80million at the end of last year and has set ambitious targets for 2022.

It also hopes to double its team which currently consists of 24, including a sales team of four, (two BDMs, a lending associate and a lending admin), three underwriters, in-house lawyers, investor relations, finance and marketing teams, other property professionals and those tech boffins.

A large part of its forward-looking confidence comes from securing a new funding line from US investment firm Atalaya Capital Management worth up to £120million in February. The revolving credit facility will be used to support its growth over the coming years and finance bridging and development loans.

It marks the group’s third institutional funding line. “One of our main goals is to now increase our focus on brokers now that we can increase our lending” Kreeger says. “It’s also partly why we are keen to join the Bridging Loan Directory. We want more brokers to know who we are, what we do and how we can help both them and their clients.”

At present the group has a 50-50 split between residential and commercial demand. An example of the types of deal it does came last August when the founder of Real Estate Finance Consultancy and Crown City Holdings, Nir Yedid, completed a £9.25million facility for the refinancing of a hotel in The Quay, Poole. The 12 month first-charge loan had an LTV of 63.53%.

The group also prides itself on the speed with which it can turn around loans. Last October it completed five bridging loans totalling £11.4m on the same day.

The complex set of deals was for a portfolio of properties made up of residential, retail and commercial assets across the UK. The loan facilities were all for 12 months and had LTV’s ranging from 65% to 70%.

“This new funding line will enable us to have cheaper rates for development so hopefully we can get some more of that business as well. We are seeing a lot of enquiries there,” Kreeger says. “In fact, overall we have just hit our 3,000th enquiry since inception.”

TAB believes its close relationships with brokers are another key factor in this demand growth. “If we have to have a difficult conversation with a broker such as telling them a loan isn’t going to work out, we’ll do it. We won’t beat around the bush and waste their time,” Kreeger says.

“We are really open about everything we do and invite brokers and borrowers to come into the office and meet us at any time.”

Indeed TAB, true to its word, has encouraged brokers, who are currently working from home or are near London, to use its new office at The Grain Yard in Borehamwood, as a hot desk base. Brokers receive a private room to work with and access to all TAB’s amenities such as unlimited tea, coffee, breakfast and lunch!

Kreeger says this is a reflection of an open and almost community way of working at the group.

“Everyone here is keen to get stuck in and help TAB grow,” he says. “Getting those three funding lines in over the last 12 months is testament to our staff and how motivated we are. Investors trust and believe in us, brokers do the same too. We live and breathe our key values.”