75% of specialist brokers expect sales to increase in 2019

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  • Despite ongoing Brexit negotiations, 75% of specialist intermediaries expect sales to increase in 2019
  • Only 2.5% of professionals in the specialist lending market expect sales to decline this year
  • 84% of specialist lending intermediaries feel confident about their company’s prospects over the next 12 months

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At a time of significant uncertainty for the UK economy, 2019 looks full of promise for the specialist lending market as three quarters of intermediaries (75%) expect business sales to increase in the next twelve months.

Research from Masthaven, the specialist bank, shows that intermediaries feel Brexit and stagnant house prices will not negatively affect the lending market, with only 2.5% of professionals in the sector expecting to see sales decline. Instead, intermediaries believe lending criteria (35%), regulation (27%) and lack of innovation (18%) will be the biggest growth challenges for the year ahead.

When asked about customers’ needs for 2019, brokers noted that more complex circumstances mean that clients have requirements beyond simply getting a cheap deal. Almost a quarter (23%) of brokers said customers were more likely to prioritise flexible lending criteria, and only 5% believed low fees are a priority for customers. However, low rates (35%) are still thought to be top of customers’ agendas.

Some of brokers’ optimism is down to the fact that much of the business generated over 2018 did not rely on new borrowing. Remortgaging (14%) and product transfers (10%) were seen as the key areas for growth for almost a quarter of those surveyed.

The ‘Broker Beat’ survey includes responses from brokers, directors and CEOs and is designed to gauge insight and opinions of intermediaries working in the specialist lending market.

Matt Andrews, Managing Director of Mortgages, Masthaven, commented:

“Despite ongoing Brexit negotiations and another quarter of slowing house prices, it is positive to know that intermediaries are confident for a successful 2019 with a large proportion expecting sales to increase. Customers, new and returning, are continuing to turn to specialist lending options for flexible products which traditional high street banks have been slow to cater for.

“This year is set to be another bumper one for the industry – we are already seeing restrictive credit scores and prescriptive lending criteria being reconsidered. However, there is always room for improvement. We must continue to create innovate products, develop frictionless services and streamline the borrowing process so that despite the unknown uncertainties that lie ahead, specialist finance will continue to become the new normal.”

About the research

The research was conducted by Masthaven, with 79 individuals working within the specialist lending industry. Respondents were asked questions regarding thoughts on the mortgage market and direction their company will be moving in over the next twelve months.

About Masthaven Bank Ltd

Masthaven launched as a retail bank in 2016. It offers award-winning saving and lending products. Prior to that, Masthaven Finance has provided a flexible and personalised approach to bridging loans and secured lending since 2004. Today, the bank’s knowledgeable and experienced specialists are committed to providing customers with flexible and fixed term savings accounts, bridging loans, development finance, and mortgages. The bank is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Register no. 719354). Masthaven was named ‘Best Bridging Lender’ in the Coreco Awards (2017); ‘Most Innovative Savings Provider’ in the Moneynet Personal Finance Awards (2017 and 2018); and ‘Best Specialist Lender’ in the Moneynet Personal Finance Awards (2018) and Most Innovative Digital Retail Bank UK 2018 by CFI. Masthaven Finance featured in 2015’s The Sunday Times’ Virgin Fast Track 100 (at number 81). Masthaven Bank was ranked 240 in Financial Times’ FT1000 list (2017).

Hayley Schubert, Rostrum
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