91% of bridging finance brokers believe that awareness of the versatility of bridging finance as a short term borrowing option has increased over the last 12 months, according to United Trust Bank’s latest broker survey.
After many years of being regarded as a niche sector, principally employed to bridge the gap between a standard residential purchase and sale, 73% of brokers now consider recommending bridging finance in more instances than they used to.
UTB says its survey findings support the notion that much of the increase in activity in the bridging sector has been driven by much more varied uses of the short term finance solution than simply for classic bridging scenarios.
In addition to increased awareness of the versatility of bridging finance, 56% of respondents believe the image of the bridging industry has improved in the last year with 74% feeling that regulated lenders, such as United Trust Bank, are helping to improve the image of the bridging industry and increase trust.
Alan Margolis, head of bridging at United Trust Bank, said: “Bridging loans can provide bespoke solutions to the hugely varied circumstances that borrowers find themselves in. Used correctly they enable people to achieve solutions from settling tax liabilities or forfeiting a deposit, to taking advantage of a tremendous opportunity.
“As borrowers have found their usual routes to credit closed off, brokers are considering bridging finance as a possible short term lending solution in more and more cases. Reflecting this growth, UTB increased its bridging lending considerably in 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 has also been extremely busy.
“Brokers are also more often considering bridging finance as an option for larger and more complex loans. Last year United Trust Bank completed a number of multi million pound structured bridging loans of up to £10m involving complex multi ownership and mixed property portfolios, including residential, semi commercial and commercial property. Ownership included off shore companies, trusts and various linked individuals.
“Loans of this type are far removed from the more common and straightforward classic bridge scenarios and although there are few lenders who can complete such deals, brokers are now more aware that lenders such as UTB have the capability and the willingness to consider these more unusual proposals.”