Salt makes major impact

In the first industry survey of commercial mortgage intermediaries, Charterhouse Research Ltd found that some 96% of brokers rated Salt’s overall service as either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’. Salt performed well in many specific areas of service and was rated particularly highly when it came to flexibility of its underwriting. Launched at the Mortgage Business Expo at Earls Court last November, Salt’s aim was to speed up commercial lending while making it trouble-free.

The industry survey consulted over 200 commercial mortgage brokers in a series of 30-minute interviews, the results of which have been assessed and analysed for the panel of commercial lenders who co-funded the research.

Brokers were split into specialists, where more than 50% of their turnover is generated from commercial mortgages and non-specialists, where less than 50% of turnover comes from commercial mortgages.

There were distinct differences between specialist and non-specialist commercial mortgage brokers as might be expected. Specialist brokers, for example, typically tend to spread their business across a range of 7 lenders, compared to just 4 for non-specialists. And while prompt processing by a lender through to the final offer is regarded by specialists as the single most important issue for lenders to perform well on, their non-specialist counterparts are more likely to be swayed by a lender who updates them effectively on the progress of mortgage applications.

The survey will be conducted on an annual basis and over time will enable those lenders on the panel to track the way in which their business performs against other commercial lenders in the UK market.

Brian Carney, managing director of Salt Commercial, said: “As one of the newest entrants to the commercial lending market, we are very pleased to see the way in which our brand and business has been received. Our strategy has been to build the business rapidly in a measured and controlled fashion focusing on the development of long-term relationships.

“It is very encouraging to see that we have been rated so highly in terms of overall satisfaction and recommendation for those brokers who have used us. Our approach to property based lending, whether it be for commercial or residential investment, owner-occupier or development funding, is based on speedy service, flexibility and experience without the tick box mentality. It is therefore wonderful to see we scored so highly on the key measures of flexibility, access to decision makers and prompt AIPs, each of which the survey highlighted as being particularly important to brokers.”

Mark Dennis, director of Charterhouse Research Limited added: “Salt can rightly feel proud of the ratings they have achieved in our inaugural industry survey. As the brand had only been in existence for a few months at the time our survey was carried out their ratings are, by definition, based on a limited number of supporting intermediaries.

“The challenge will therefore be to maintain that high standard of performance as they continue to increase their penetration in the broker market. If they carry on performing at this level and achieve similarly high ratings in next year’s survey across a broader base of supporting intermediaries, then they will have done extremely well in their first year.”