The latest figures for the second-charge market, from the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), make for positive reading. It found that the value of new business for April came to £88m, the most positive month for new lending in a year, while the number of new loan agreements is now unchanged from last March. It is an encouraging demonstration of how the market has picked up from the difficulties posed by the pandemic.
There is no escaping the fact that lenders in the second-charge market are raising their game and revamping, not only by product, but also by the way they lend.
Some are competing on price, unveiling new product ranges that are genuinely eye-catching on rate alone, while others are looking again at their lending criteria and identifying ways to open up their products to groups of borrowers who might ordinarily be excluded from the seconds’ sector.
What’s happening across the board, even from those lenders who aren’t adjusting their products, is a wholesale improvement in the level of service on offer.
Whether it’s greater use of technology or simply a revision in their lending processes, the industry as a whole is doing a fantastic job in looking at how it works with fresh eyes, and finding new, innovative ways of delivering a more efficient and satisfying experience for everyone involved in each case.
Compare the market today to the seconds market we saw just a few months ago, and the difference is extraordinary.
This is a market where the lenders are not just open for business, they have a particularly strong appetite to lend, and are launching products that opens up this sector to a wider range of prospective borrowers.