Tony Bunting talks to us about the new Bridging & Commercial Club and the opportunity it offers networks:
For 23 years I have been developing in my mind a model that is designed to ensure that whatever funding sector I have been involved in delivers to my clients a trusted proposition that from the start of discussions focuses on 1) How much? 2) How long? and 3) At what cost?
When I started Bridge Finance Direct in 2016, I was convinced the bridging sector had become established and was successfully shaking off its reputation for being the last resort with sky high interest rates. That said, as an experienced broker with an honest reputation I remained sceptical about the ethics of some providers. I started thinking about how I could get together a valued panel of lenders who had the right ethical approach and had become trusted by a broker fraternity that was willing, but often not quite able, to understand the challenges of, what can often be, a complicated market. It was important to me that Club members should be honest, experienced professionals who have the interest of the client at the core of their proposition and not just their own short-term financial gain. There is no room in the sector for what I call ghost brokers, those who present a case with no exit facility and then just go A.W.O.L. because they have no interest in their client, just their own pocket, for this reason The Club will be validating exit strategies to ensure that they are realistic, whether the property is being sold or refinanced.
I rely on my client bank to sustain the growth I have achieved over those 23 years as I believe any broker should be looking for long term relationships that generate repeat and referral business over time and not a short-term hit.
My growth depends on the relationships I forge with my lenders and hence I have come up with the idea of The Bridging & Commercial Club. For the last 12 months I have been in discussions with many lenders to convince myself who I would want to do business with, with the intention of selecting a limited panel, who under the banner of The Club, would be an attractive proposition for brokers right across the UK.
I challenged the lenders to convince me that they could provide Club members with solutions to their funding needs in a market that was currently swamped with thousands of product choices, marketed to impress but often not as transparent as they first appeared. I wanted to develop an opportunity for brokers to believe that their owner occupier, investor and developer clients were getting a good deal because the panel of lenders had a hard-won reputation for their transparency, flexibility, competitive pricing, service proposition and very importantly their experienced dedicated staff.
Brokers need to believe that lenders can live up to their commercial boasts promoted on their websites and marketing material and can be trusted to deliver those boasts. That is why each lender on the panel will commit to The Club’s SLA.
I am expecting The Club to be an appealing proposition for the networks as we have an appetite to work with them supporting their education programmes. Our research continues to indicate that what a significant number of network members want is to be educated in the ways of the bridging market and to ensure their client’s needs through a trusted panel of lenders who are committed to the highest standards of service and broker support.
High on my agenda was, “How good is the lenders education programme?” In other words, how committed are they to allocating dedicated experienced resource to the development needs of our broker members, if all parties are to benefit from the added value The Club is established to deliver.
The Club will have specialist Lenders vastly experienced in the market supporting an increasing number of specially trained brokers focused on doing right by their clients.
Shortly we will be launching The Bridging & Commercial Club offering;
- Free Club Membership for FCA regulated brokers only
- A Dedicated Help Desk
- UK Wide Distribution
- Member Benefits
- Preferential rates
- Enhanced deals
- Agreed SLA’s with all panel lenders
I am delighted to be able to announce the first exclusive deal for The Bridging & Commercial Club will be provided by Castle Trust who from 13th May are offering a 70% net lending product with interest added to the LTV so net means net, not, as with the majority of lenders, 70% gross.
Brokers procuration fee via The Club is 1.50% and the client receives a further £500.00 cash back on completion from Castle Trust.
We have been developing the product with Barry Searle, Managing Director, Mortgages, at Castle Trust,
“It’s exciting to be involved in such an innovative project. At Castle Trust, we choose our partners carefully but the decision to join forces with The Bridging & Commercial Club for their launch was easy. We believe that The Bridging & Commercial Club is breaking new ground in terms of its proposition and really bringing something useful to the market for brokers. It will play an important role in continuing the growth of the sector through competitive offerings for its members and improving the sector’s public reputation”
The Bridging & Commercial Club will bring a new option for brokers wanting to share in the success of the opportunities the evolving bridging market has to offer, through its truly transparent and trusted offering.