The importance of good stakeholder relationships

When looking at a new bridging finance case, it’s important to make quick decisions, but it’s also important that they are the right decisions. Although time is of the essence for most borrowers, lenders also need to look at any factors that might cause problems further down the line.

It is in the nature of specialist lenders that there can be some tricky problems to overcome, but with a flexible approach and by getting down to the nitty-gritty of each case, it possible to surmount hurdles, and find an appropriate solution.

The key to this is effective relationships. A big part of the underwriting process is about managing those relationships between underwriters and BDMs at our end as lenders, and all the other parties involved in the deal: the borrower and their broker, solicitors and valuers.

Lenders need to get as full and clear a picture as possible of how a project is going to work in order to understand all the potential issues that may cause it to go off-beam and jeopardise the borrower’s exit strategy.

A good example is planning restrictions, and the need for borrowers to have a clear idea of what is and is not permitted. This is particularly important where there are extensive renovation or refurbishments needed, or the project involves a change of use.

The underwriting process will necessarily need to take these potential issues into account, as if a borrower runs up against planning constraints during the course of any works, that has the ability to throw the entire project off course and delay realisation of the exit strategy. By highlighting any such considerations during the application process, we are managing our own risks, and also helping the borrower plan their project more effectively and help to ensure their exit strategy is likely to be achieved.

Brokers and borrowers may well be encountering particular circumstances and certain challenging situations for the first time, whereas lenders naturally have much more experience and are likely to have seen something similar before. We can bring this expertise to bear and usually find a solution that meets the needs of all parties.

All this is possible only if there is a full and free flow of clear information between all the relevant parties. From a broker, a lender expects clear and precise information to enable accurate and insightful decision-making. Lenders depend on the quality of the relationship with borrowers, brokers and other stakeholders to ensure they have the all the information and answers needed. As long as that is the case, we will always endeavour to find an appropriate solution for the client.

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