Bridging loan sector fills finance gaps

Q1 showed a rise in short term lending as the bridging loan sector fills the gap left by the banks

Members of the Association of Short Term Lenders advanced £288m of loans in the first quarter, up 1.8 per cent on the previous quarter’s total of £283m.

In the quarter, ASTL members received applications for £1.1bn worth of lending, down from £1.3bn in the previous quarter.

The total loan book at the end of the period was worth £1.1bn.

ASTL chief executive Benson Hersch says: “The figures reflect the steady increase I expected revealing the ongoing need for bridging finance. This has not decreased, despite pressure by government and promises by mainstream banks to lend more, as a result, short term loans are filling the gaps in many instances.

“After a significant rise at the end of last year, the current quarter has seen steady demand and I expect the next quarter’s figures, to continue to show a slow but steady improvement.”

The ASTL’s figures are produced and published quarterly and measure the lending of all of its members.

The figures come on the back of research from United Trust Bank last month which showed that nine out of 10 brokers believe the bridging sector has become less niche over the past 12 months. UTB surveyed 118 bridging finance brokers.

Speaking at the time, UTB head of bridging Alan Margolis said: “As borrowers have found their usual routes to credit closed off, brokers are considering bridging finance as a possible short term lending solution in more and more cases.”