No one said that the second charge business would be predictable and it certainly is not boring. Even since we started our business, nearly five years ago, the industry and the landscape has continued to evolve. In date order the effects of the credit crunch and then the regulatory oversight have rendered the industry almost unrecognisable from where it was prior to the crash.
Is that a good thing? Most definitely – although the effects of the credit crunch have been severe, it has allowed the lending industry to clean house and it is the better for it. The majority of brokers still in the market are the cream and those who could not cope with the changes and the loss of easy business have left and I doubt will return to a market that is now so much more professional and of course regulated. So good for clients, who will receive better service and as the market continues to improve, there is more business to go round for the smaller number of intermediaries.
To add to the challenges we are embracing comes a new lender bringing a new method of assessing cases, which I think could offer serious competition to existing lenders and an interesting challenge to the regulator. Optimum Credit has effectively thrown out the traditional instruction manual on loan assessment. Doing away with a product matrix, it has opted for a system that is based on a score sheet, and challenges the accepted methodology we are all used to. While it makes it more difficult for immediate assessment, what I like is the fresh approach and I wish Optimum Credit well.