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Solutions will be welcome. Once this crisis is over, which of your clients could benefit from bridging finance to help get their plans back on track?

A defining comment on the coronavirus crisis came from chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, who in a recent statement said: “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… 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 during this very challenging period. But eventually it will pass. When it does, which of your clients could benefit from bridging finance to help get their plans back on track?
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Lawrence Stephens Solicitors joins The Association of Short Term Lenders

Lawrence Stephens Solicitors has become the latest professional organisation to become an associate member of the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL).

Lawrence Stephens is a leading law firm with a focus on providing specialist Real Estate and Secured Lending advice, amongst other areas of expertise, which include Corporate and Commercial, Banking and Commercial Litigation. The firm already works on short term lending transactions with members of the ASTL and has been endorsed by the Executive Committee and members.<
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ASTL issues guidance for bridging customers

The bridging market continues to be open for business, with lenders finding innovative ways to keep lending, as well as working individually with existing customers to identify the most appropriate options for their loans, according to a statement by the ASTL.

Vic Jannels, CEO of the ASTL, says: “It’s at times like these when the resilience and innovation of the short-term lending sector comes to the fore. We have seen lenders introducing new technology and processes to ensure they are able to continue to deliver vital funds for customers, and even received new membership enquiries for the ASTL.
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ASTL – Our code of conduct is a kitemark of quality

I have now been in situ as CEO of the ASTL for a few short weeks, and during that time I’ve had the opportunity to talk in depth with some of our members, associate members and other stakeholders within the short term lending industry. 

As you might expect, everyone has a slightly different view of the association, and I value all feedback on what people deem to be our strengths and areas for potential improvement. There have, however, been some consistent themes and one of the most notable points of agreement has been the power and value of our Code of Conduct. 

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Building a bridging market fit for the future

At this time of year, it is traditional to look forward to the coming 12 months and set out some ideas and expectations for the market during that time. Having taken on my new role at the ASTL on 1 January 2020, I’m going to go a little further, and talk about my thoughts for the future of this great association.

Firstly though, it is important for me to highlight and recognise the fantastic legacy which my predecessor, Benson Hersch, has left following his years in the hot seat at ASTL. When he first took the role in 2012, annual bridging completions were at £885m, and today they total more than £4bn. What’s more, the latest sentiment survey from members of the ASTL shows that nearly three-quarters (72%) of bridging lenders expect their business to grow in the coming months and more than half of lenders expect the market to grow.
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Bridging watch: A code to inspire growth

One of the benefits of taking up a new role is that you can arrive at an organisation with a fresh pair of eyes and have the opportunity ask obvious questions, which is much harder when you have been in situ for a period of time. 

This is an approach that I have taken during the first few weeks of my role at the ASTL and one of the questions I have been asking of members, associate members and other interested parties in the short term lending industry is, what are our strengths as an association? 

A common response is the rigorous process we go through before accepting members. Our Code of Conduct means that membership of our association is very much a kitemark of quality. 

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