Secured lending strikes back in January

Lending levels reached £58.2m, the highest January total for six years.

Matt Tristram, co-founder and director of Loans Warehouse, said: “It’s fair to say that the secured loan industry has picked up where it left off at the end of 2014, with continued monthly growth reconfirming that as an industry we continue on the right path.

“Lenders appetite to lend continues and the competition for rates has seen further enhancements to criteria.

“2015 was always going to be interesting following what has to be viewed as a successful previous 12 months, so it’s great to see that lenders and brokers have maintained the same trajectory.”

Since the last index was released Masthaven Secured Loans, Blemain Finance and Central Trust have all reduced rates, with headline rates now standing at 7.60%, 7.63% and 9.10% respectively.

Industry insiders have expressed optimism about the state of the market in 2015 despite impending Financial Conduct Authority Regulation, which will officially come into play for the second charge market on the 21 March 2016.

Stuart Aitkens, chief operating officer at Masthaven, said: “We are cautiously optimistic about market growth in 2015

“Whilst bank base will be held for most, if not all of 2015 due to low CPI and global growth, a more fluid remortgage and second charge market will almost certainly kick in during the second half of the year as borrowers sense a rate rise on the horizon.

“Lastly, the fact that a second charge must be considered for any existing customer looking to borrow additional funds will inevitably boost the secured loan market.”

Stuart Epstein, chief executive of Spring Finance, said: “In our opinion the market will grow to £80m per calendar month by the end of 2015, as the MCD will dampen it from hitting the golden £100m that it would naturally hit without any regulatory change.

“That being said the uncertainty around the election and then the possibility of an interest rate increase that might slip into 2016 may have an impact on the figures.”

And Maeve Ward, sales and operations director at Shawbrook, said: “2015 has started with a bang and is shaping up to be one of the most exciting if not challenging years, with March 21st 2016 getting closer by the day!

“Landing slots have arrived and brokers have started to apply for authorisation with some I am delighted to say already out the other side fully authorised and no longer under interim permissions.

“Change brings opportunity and should be embraced, but what is key is that we all work together to make the transition as seamless as possible, ensuring that the customer remains at the heart of everything we do.”