How bridging lenders really p**s brokers off

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Damien Druce Black & White Bridging

In a perfect world, brokers present enquiries and applications which are a joy for underwriters to deal with and lenders make immediate decisions and produce offers quickly, followed by trouble free completion.

Back in the real world, we all know that the scenario above can be more the exception than the rule, much as we would all love for it to be true.

While no one sets out to deliberately screw up, we live in a world where there are brokers who will always require constant ‘encouragement’ to produce what lenders need to produce an offer.

Equally there are lenders who are guilty of overpromising and underdelivering, but that is a fault that is within a lender’s power to correct, though in my experience few do.

Brokers have very simple requirements of lenders, namely certainty of funding, speedy decision making and efficient follow through. However, it is still a matter of record how many times those needs are not met.

To be fair, every lender can run up against periods where due to a number of reasons, service can be poor to awful.

Resourcing for every eventuality has plagued lenders for years but many believe they can get away with indifferent service as standard operating procedure, either because they are high profile enough not to worry about losing business or because they genuinely have little or no regard for their introducers.

This kind of take it or leave it attitude can be clearly seen below.

We had a case recently sent in by an exasperated broker which had originally been placed with a lender with whom he had a long standing relationship.

Accepted in principle, the case required a measure of flexibility, but the broker discovered that while happy to take in the case, the lender would not make a quick decision and then when it did decide, it allowed no flexibility and expected a massive down payment even though it was low LTV.

The customer owns a semi-commercial property in the West Country. He was planning to convert and renovate it into part retail on the ground floor, with eight residential flats on the first and second floors.

He required day one funds to refinance the existing debt as well as the funds to complete the build.

Having studied the deal, we were able to make a fast decision to release the funds to refinance the existing debt and have since provided two drawdowns following completion in September to assist with the build.

Brokers expect certainty and fast decisions that only a few lenders, like us, are prepared to provide.

Lenders should be more creative in the way they look at cases and definitely more transparent in the way they deal with introducing brokers and their customers.

Sadly, few are but that is why Black & White Bridging has been so successful in showing brokers that they don’t have to tolerate poor service, indifferent attitudes and lenders that promise much but deliver little when the chips are really down.