Jonathan Samuels, founder and chief executive of Octane Capital
And so the end of another year approaches, as ever surprising many of us in the process. But as we edge closer to the finish line tape of 2018, you sense next year could deliver no end of curveballs at best. And a black swan at worst.
Without wanting to appear overly pessimistic, there’s every chance 2019 could be 2009 all over again, and everyone in the bridging industry needs to be prepared for that eventuality — brokers, lenders and borrowers alike. All the ingredients for extreme uncertainty, both political and economic, are in the mix.
While the Bank of England reassures us that the banking system can cope with whatever Brexit throws at it, that may not be true of the specialist lending industry. In fact, I’m pretty sure it won’t be. The specialist lending landscape in 12 months’ time could look a fair bit different to what it is now.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see some consolidation during 2019 and even some lenders withdraw from specialist lending altogether. The environment they’re suddenly expected to operate in could start to feel a little oppressive and high risk. It wasn’t meant to be like this.
What’s certain is that 2019 will be the most important year since 2009 when experience will genuinely count.
If I was a broker right now, I’d be asking myself which lenders have the experience and courage to successfully navigate the choppy waters of 2019. Experience and courage will likely be the key differentiators in 2019.