The Scottish specialist lending market is set to double in size during 2019 due to an influx of new lenders with improved criteria, product choice and rates, Glasgow-based specialist finance provider, Your Expert Group has predicted.
With the specialist lending sector in England saturated, challenger banks and alternative finance providers are increasingly looking to new markets in their search for margin and market share, and Scotland offers an untapped market opportunity — for lenders and brokers alike.
In the fourth quarter of 2018 alone, four complex residential and buy-to-let challenger lenders, previously operational only in England and Wales, will be opening their doors to Scottish brokers and borrowers. This follows an influx of bridging and development finance lenders during the year to date.
Nathan Ellis-Calcott, director of specialist lending, Your Expert Group, said: “There’s a buzz in Scottish financial services that I haven’t seen for many years but it’s not coming from where you’d expect.
“While Scotland’s pedigree is globally recognised in relation to pension funds, investment management and insurance, it has always lagged behind in the specialist lending market.
“2018 was the year that started to change and Q4 will be decisive, with four new specialist lenders set to revolutionise the choice for the Scottish public, from everyday homeowners to sophisticated property investors. For brokers, this represents a significant commercial opportunity.”
To position itself for the increased demand to come, Your Expert Group has launched an academy in partnership with Glasgow Enterprise Gateway. It has initially taken on four new recruits in its new Glasgow office, who will be trained in different areas of specialist lending.
Derek McPhail, co-founder, Your Expert Group, added: “Not a day goes by without an approach from a specialist lender itching to get into a market it knows has huge growth potential.
“Our goal is to facilitate their entry and provide them with the volumes of business they are looking for. To that end we’ve launched an Academy in association with Glasgow Enterprise Gateway to build the necessary expertise.
“For too long specialist lending has been the ugly duckling of Scottish financial services but that image has been overhauled with the arrival of challenger lenders.
“It’s not often that Scotland welcomes armies from down South but the countless lenders looking north of the border will, for once, find a friendly welcome.”