Trade associations, like the ASTL, can promote effective self-regulation, which could make further FCA intervention in the bridging sector unnecessary, according to former FCA mortgage manager, Lynda Blackwell.

Speaking at the ASTL Annual Conference last week, Lynda Blackwell said that she didn’t think full regulation of the bridging market would happen any time soon, adding that “it’s something that is down to you [the bridging sector] to make sure you react in the right way”.

Blackwell said that any regulation is always targeted towards the “bad apples” in an industry and that trade associations and members of those bodies had a responsibility to call out bad practice as this would provide evidence that the market was able to self-regulate.

Benson Hersch, CEO of the ASTL says: “Regulation of our market may not be on the imminent horizon, but we all need to be cognisant it is always a possibility and that any regulation will be targeted at the worst offenders, so could be heavy handed and restrictive to customer choice and innovation.

“Lynda highlighted the important role that trade associations play in maintaining standards, calling out bad practice and ensuring we can build a sustainable market that benefits both our customers and our participants. This doesn’t happen on its own and we all need to pull together to ensure that lenders lend responsibly, following the rules of the market in which we want to operate, rather than have those rules imposed on us.

“I’d like to thank Lynda for her incredibly insightful and thought-provoking presentation at our conference last week, which proved to be a valuable event for all who attended.”