Investing in the future of bridging

Gavin Diamond, Commercial Director – Bridging

If you want to lift yourself above the crowd, you must innovate.

If you want to stay a leading bridging lender you must continuously review and improve your products and services to meet the demands of the marketplace. UTB has a strong reputation as a dependable and knowledgeable lender and for being a thought leader in the sector. We are staunch advocates of short-term lending and frequently take part in round tables, roadshows and other broker events around the country. We believe there is still considerable potential for growth in the bridging sector nationwide and it is our aim to lead from the front. One of the keys to maintaining growth in the market is to make bridging finance more accessible to consumers, and part of that is to drive down costs.

Our interest rates are already extremely competitive, but we identified elements of the bridging application process where streamlining and adopting technological solutions could reduce costs as well as simplifying and speeding up the process. Win-win.

In the summer we became one of the first bridging lenders to introduce dual legal representation for bridging loans. Although dual legal representation is common in mortgage conveyances, it was a big step forward in simplifying the legal process for bridging. It can facilitate transactions being paid out much more quickly and deliver a significant cost saving for the borrower. Our customers can choose the dual legal representation option on regulated bridging loans of up to £1m.

We also took advantage of improved automated valuation technology by increasing the use of AVMs for qualifying loans of up to £1m. Again, this has enabled our customers to benefit from reduced costs and quicker applications.

Our combined Mortgages & Bridging division provides brokers and customers with a range of long and short-term property funding solutions. As well as offering more choice, the nine-strong Sales & Relationship Support Team supports brokers across most of Great Britain and combined, the team works with over 1000 brokers and introducers between them. Increased broker support, both regionally and in the traditional London/South East hotspots, combined with the positive reaction to the enhancements and innovation we’ve brought to our products and services have further differentiated UTB in this competitive marketplace and business volumes have seen strong growth throughout this year.

Despite a considerable amount of uncertainty and turbulence in the economy, we set out to develop our bridging offering by continuing to invest in people and technology. By doing so we have underlined our commitment to the sector, to brokers and to borrowers. Whatever happens with Brexit, we are forging our own path and intend to be significant participants in the bridging market for the long-term.