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A recent commissioned survey of introducers to Brightstar Financial, the intermediary hub for specialist lending, has found that although over 80% of broker respondents believed the market for specialist lending was growing, 84% did not feel they knew the market well enough to advise clients and deal with lenders directly.

Brightstar believes that with the restrictive criteria being applied in the first charge market, more advisers are having to look at non high street alternatives for clients. Also with the insistence by the regulator that mortgage clients seeking to capital raise must be provided with a second charge quote, many advisers are looking at remortgage alternatives for the first time.

According to Chief Executive, Rob Jupp, much of Brightstar’s success has been based on providing introducers with the help and encouragement they require to advise clients with confidence as the need for specialist lending has grown over the last few years.

He said, “Even though we have built our business on being a natural choice for advisers whose clients do not fit the high street straitjacket, even I was amazed at how many brokers just do not feel confident in advising clients or dealing directly with lenders. If this result is indicative of the whole intermediary base, then even though Brightstar and our peers in the sector are dealing with growing numbers of adviser firms, there must be many hundreds more who are either giving up when their normal sources are exhausted or are trying with no real confidence to negotiate the specialist lending market for themselves with probably more negative than positive customer outcomes.”

Rob Jupp added, “Much is being asked of advisers today because along with the changes to the regulatory framework, there has been an explosion of funding options to deal with. Brightstar Financial sees part of its role as not only providing hands on assistance for advisers who want to make sure they have covered all the bases for clients, but also as a proactive source to help advisers become better acquainted with the alternative funding sources which they can access directly. Of course, we would love them all to ask us to help them in every case. However, my view is that the more we can help advisers to become more confident about the specialist lending market, the more they will see and understand how much time we can save them, when they want to choose from the whole of market palette we can provide for them.”