Last week saw the second joint roundtable between the Financial Intermediary & Broker Association (FIBA) and the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) take place in London.
The meeting on 14 June was designed to promote industry growth through mutual cooperation and identified, discussed and agreed action points on three main issues.
It built on issues raised at the inaugural meeting in February and brought together a wide panel of brokers, lenders and solicitors to discuss the issues and determine main action points for FIBA and ASTL.
According to delegates, the quality of initial enquiries remains a significant issue for both brokers and lenders and that lenders should be setting a minimum standard for introduced applications to avoid a “domino effect” of negative outcomes caused by sub-standard submissions.
However, brokers queried the amount of information required for a DIP. The panel subsequently agreed that lenders needed to be clear on the type and amount of information they required and, as an action point, it was agreed that FIBA should collate a list of standard questions and guidelines for initial submissions, which brokers could use as a starting point.
It was agreed that solicitors in an ideal world should not accept cases they weren’t set up to deal with – especially when it came to two or three-day turnaround times in bridging finance – or for which they lacked the necessary sector knowledge. Borrowers need to be guided towards the right choice of legal support for specialist cases, and brokers were claimed to be best placed to provide them with initial recommendations, the roundtable agreed.
FIBA plans to compile a register of recommended solicitors for borrowers, a move which was unanimously supported by the panel, combined with the need to categorise solicitors by specialism and for the inclusion of regionally based firms.
The panel was generally in agreement that in such a competitive market, brokers needed to have enough confidence in their business to not have to rely on these types of fees.
Adam Tyler (pictured), executive chairman of FIBA, said: “Under this joint initiative between FIBA and the ASTL, our roundtable meeting demonstrated the value of bringing interested parties together from the legal, lending and broking sides to discuss and decide on actions that benefit all parties, but ultimately improves service to our customers.
“We are seeing the advantages that can be gained by trade bodies cooperating to bring their members together in this way. I think that the close cooperation of our members and the lenders will bring mutual benefits for both. We all want the best for our industries and members and by working together we can make a bigger impact in a shorter timescale.
“At FIBA, we are looking forward to working with the ASTL again as well as welcoming the opportunity to supporting our members and the industry.”