Led by Managing Director of Short Term Lending James Bloom, 2018 has been a year of real change and development for our bridging division. We have made a number of changes, underpinned by a fundamental ethos: create smart bridging products that meet market need, acting in the best interests of the customer.
Our initiatives included:
Launching Bridging Plus – we created a brand-new product for 2018 to answer broker demand for larger loan levels. Offering loans from £750,000 – £5 million and with attractive commission, the product has proved a massive success. Kit Thompson, Director of Short Term Lending and Development at Brightstar, described the proposition as “testament to Masthaven’s people-first philosophy”, adding it would be an “essential addition” to brokers’ product suites.
Revamping our underwriting process – we have made significant strides in overhauling this as we seek to improve customer experience. Overseen by Director of Credit and Operations, Alan Margolis, changes have included scrapping offer letters for regulated loans and replacing them with a new-look, streamlined, easy-to-understand DIP. We have also changed the way we collect legal fees and now instruct our solicitors to seek an undertaking for their costs – instead of us collecting fees on their behalf.
Focusing on speed – our customers don’t just want short-term finance. They need it. The key to a successful short-term loan is speed – taking a case on, assessing it diligently and turning it around ahead of deadline. This is a core competency for us and we have a track record in completing cases quickly, including one in just 48 hours.
Short-term lending is going through a period of immense change. In just a few years short-term lending has gone from a cottage industry to a buoyant market in its own right. In 2011 the bridging finance sector was worth £750 million; today, it’s estimated at £4 billion.
New entrants are coming on to the market, there is a lot of innovation and the sector is becoming more and more mainstream. We feel we are at the vanguard of all this change, playing a huge part in the development of the sector.
We like to say that short-term finance is in our blood. That’s because Masthaven started off life as a short-term lender, many years before we secured our licence and made the move into retail banking. We know the market inside out, have recruited a talented leadership team and have smart, first-rate underwriters working on cases. On top of all that is a fantastic relationship with our broker partners and a real focus on treating customers fairly.
This is a philosophy that led Daniel Churchill, Director of Pure Funding Solutions, to comment: “Masthaven are continually assessing their product offering and lending proposition to appeal to a larger customer-based audience. They are doing this in conjunction with their introducers and brokers and are fully committed to this as their long-term distribution channel. Coupled with a competent and personable sales and underwriting process, it is a recipe for ongoing success.”