One of the defining comments about the current situation has come from Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, who said during one of his statements:

“When this is over, and it will be over, we want to look back at this moment and remember the many small acts of kindness done by us and to us. We want to look back this time and remember how we thought first of others and acted with decency. We want to look back on this time and remember how, in the face of a generation-defining moment, we undertook a collective national effort - and we stood together.”

These are important principles to stick to during this period of uncertainty. It is also important to remember, that this period will be over. So, when we emerge from the other side of this crisis. Which of your clients could benefit from bridging finance to help get their plans back on track?

Developers

After years of dealing with uncertainty over Brexit, 2020 was looking to be a very positive time for developers, and the active market in the first two months of the year provided much reason for encouragement. With the market being put on pause, as well as much construction, developers will need to reconsider their options and development exit loan can provide the time they need in order to do this.

A development exit loan is a short-term loan that allows a developer to refinance their completed scheme, often at a lower rate than their development finance facility. This can provide a saving on interest payment and give them more time to achieve the best sales price and most investors also release equity from the scheme to use towards future projects.

Business Owners

Bridging finance can be secured on residential or commercial property to provide a short-term cash injection to help small businesses and SMEs. The government has announced a whole suite of support packages to help small businesses through this period, but for many this support may not be enough to help businesses continue to deliver their plans on the other side of this situation.

As with all bridging loans, it is important that there is a robust and reasonable exit route, which could potentially be refinancing or selling assets in the future. For those businesses that are looking to rebuild and are positive about their future prospects, bridging finance can provide a fast and flexible way of delivering funds.

Portfolio landlords

Again, the government has announced forbearance measures that can help landlords throughout this difficult situation, but there is a good chance that, as we emerge, there will be portfolio landlords who are looking for a fast way to access funds. For some, bridging finance may provide a solution to cover short-term cashflow difficulties that have been caused by rent arrears or unexpected repair and maintenance costs. While, for others, it could be used as a way of expanding their portfolio at a time when the property market is flat and provides opportunities to do so. Whatever the reason, a call to your portfolio landlord clients when this situation does pass, could provide them with a welcome solution to their problems.

These are just three examples of types of clients who could benefit from bridging finance when we emerge from this current situation, which will hopefully be sooner, rather than later. There are many ways in which bridging could provide a fast and flexible solutions to the short-term cash-flow requirements of your clients and there will remain many lenders that are ready and available to help. When it comes to choosing such a lender, I would suggest that ASTL membership is something that all brokers should look for. As with any time, when there is a break in the market, there will be a flight to quality and customers will want reassurance that they are working with robust institutions built on sound foundations. ASTL membership provides brokers and their clients with confidence that the lender will subscribe and adhere to certain standards of behaviour and, while confidence is important at any time, it will be particularly crucial in the market that emerges the current situation.

When this is over, and it will be over, there will be opportunities to help people, and it will be important to work with the right lenders to help you achieve this.

Vic Jannels, CEO of the ASTL

A version of this article appeared in the April digital edition of Mortgage Strategy – Bridging Watch