"We want to encourage engagement across the industry, not just as a one-off participation, but as part of an ongoing environment of continuing learning."
The Financial Intermediary & Broker Association (FIBA) and Association of Short Term Mortgage Lenders (ASTL) have collaborated to launch a proposal for an ongoing programme of education for the commercial property finance industry, which includes bridging, short term finance, development finance and specialist buy-to-let.
FIBA and the ASTL are working with The London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) on the creation of a series of optional e-learning modules that will be recognized through the award of an LIBF digital badge and accredited for CPD purposes.
The aim of the education programme is to provide a programme of learning to people new to the specialist property finance industry who are either joining a lender or diversifying into the sector as a broker. It will cover the basics on specialist property finance and the structure of different types of businesses that might require it, with specific information on bridging and short term finance, development finance, commercial mortgages and specialist buy-to-let. For each area, there will be insights into how they work and how they are underwritten and the differences within each sector. It will also look at the essentials of how commercial lenders and brokers operate to help broaden understanding across the industry and some of the key planning considerations needed in commercial property finance, including permitted developments.
The final module of the programme will be a series of case studies, where the learner will be given different scenarios and will need to identify key information, such as how the lending will be categorised, what key additional information the broker will need to package the case, how it will be underwritten and the likelihood of it being agreed.
The programme will be reviewed and refined by key stakeholders on an ongoing basis to ensure it is promoting the most appropriate behaviours and results.
Adam Tyler, executive chairman at FIBA, said: “For many years I have been involved in education for our sector and these latest discussions are successfully building upon the previous ground work. In conjunction with the ASTL and the London Institute of Banking and Finance, we have now developed the essential framework to complete the building of an education programme that will suit all elements of our industry. The early indications are that we have plenty of support to progress and this is for all of us to work together to reach the right outcome.”
Vic Jannels, CEO at the ASTL, commented: “Increased learning and education is always a positive thing and, as we all work towards making the whole borrowing experience more comfortable, and less mysterious, for our consumers, the best outcome will always be through advisers who know their subject and lenders who have a more holistic understanding of the whole process. We won’t be insisting that our members only work with brokers who have been through the programme, or that brokers only work lenders whose employees have completed the course, but we want to encourage engagement across the industry, not just as a one-off participation, but as part of an ongoing environment of continuing learning.”
John Somerville, head of financial services at The London Institute of Banking and Finance, added: “We’ve been working closely with FIBA and the ASTL to develop a quality education programme to improve professionalism and standards within bridging and development finance. Our aim is to help those in the sector – brokers or lenders – develop a greater understanding of the industry as well as each other’s policies and procedures to improve efficiencies and ultimately customer outcomes.”