AOBP Forum: Could the 'outrageous' BTL playing field be levelled?

Non-bank buy-to-let (BTL) lenders may soon have to play by the same rules as those under PRA regulation, a forum has heard.

On 27th April, around 120 specialist finance professionals descended on The Soho Hotel to attend the Association of Bridging Professionals (AOBP) Forum 2017.

With BTL finance the topic of the day, Andrew Bloom, founder and CEO at Masthaven, told the audience that he had been informed that the playing field between PRA-governed BTL lenders and non-bank BTL lenders would be levelled. 

“…From our perspective, it’s been outrageous that you have a non-bank funded BTL lender who [is] able to do lending which, if you are a bank, you’re unable to do,” Andrew explained.

“That’s not really in the interest of the consumer.

“Either what they are asking banks to do is wrong, or allowing non-bank lenders to do what they’re doing is wrong.

“So I’ve been informed that in the relatively short-term [the] playing field will be levelled.”

The comments follow the PRA’s introduction of stricter affordability checks for BTL lending earlier this year.

Andrew was joined on the panel by Matthew Wyles, executive director at FCA-regulated Castle Trust Capital, who said his company had “voluntarily embraced” PRA rules.

“[There are] a bunch of guys who think the rules don’t apply to them, ploughing in and playing games at the expense of those who are inside the PRA tent.

“…Let me tell you, that game will not last very long, because the PRA’s arm is long and its vengeance is total.

“It has indirect ways of influencing lenders who are not adhering to – what they would describe as – macro-prudential strategic directives.”

Since the forum, a spokesperson for the PRA told Bridging & Commercial that PRA-regulated firms are expected to ensure that other, non-regulated, BTL lenders within their group adhere to the new underwriting standards.

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