The real use of technology in Specialist Finance

30 Sep 2021

In recent months we have looked at technology and its use in specialist finance, it is now time to reveal some of that in more detail as FIBA rolls out its member benefit programme embracing its use amongst the specialist finance broker community. We are going to consider three real life examples and we are also going to include the thoughts of their founders and operators.

It is now impossible to ignore the way in which technology is looking to revolutionise the commercial finance lending sector and how this tech revolution will help brokers in their businesses. For many years I have reviewed and considered different platforms for commercial finance and our first technology partner Native Finance provides data capture of the highest order for the bridging, development and term commercial property finance industry on lenders current and past loans using a geographical search facility providing a unique insight into who and what is being lent, but also provide a fantastic sourcing opportunity for or market”

It is the first of its kind in Europe - helping brokers to also source the right lenders for their clients, track market activity and effectively manage deals from start to finish. Their customers and brokers who have already adopted the market-leading solution, consistently receive the following benefits, access to over 480 lenders (including institutional funds and overseas lenders), increased deal completions and less time spent on deal management and market intel with data on +1.5 million real estate loans across the entire market.

Prasanna Kannan, co-founder at Native Finance, commented, ‘We’re delighted to be in a position to introduce brokers to our unique platform. Our goal is to reduce the time and resources that brokers spend sourcing lenders and managing deals. We look forward to working with commercial finance specialists to create a more efficient lending process which prioritises data transparency.’

In another development Alternative Business Funding has partnered with FIBA to offer a solution to their intermediary members in sourcing lenders for all types of commercial finance that would otherwise fall outside of their usual requests for  bridging, development and term commercial property finance for both purchase and refinance. There has been a long standing opportunity for the Financial Intermediary and Finance Platforms to be able to work together to help all small business customers. This is a particularly long awaited launch for brokers, as it now allows them to find a funder for all types of specialist finance enquiries that they may receive. Also importantly this another way that SME owners in the UK can find the funding they need for their business.

Adam Tavener, ABF and Funder Finder Chairman said “We are delighted to be partnering with the wider intermediary and broker market.  Their adoption of the Funder Finder tool is a major vote of confidence in this technology, whose mission is to provide fast, fair and transparent access to finance to all businesses, no matter how large or small. Businesses that are properly tech enabled will continue to enjoy significant benefits that flow from an enhanced customer experience and thus loyalty, the direction of travel is unmistakeable and progress around these kinds of automated customer journeys will continue to accelerate.  Far sighted businesses already know this and making sure that they stay ahead, as is the case here with the Funder Finder tool providing a whole new type of technology to members and customers of FIBA”.

In this final part of the trilogy, I would like to return to a subject that has been important to us all and that is to ensure that the customers solicitor in a commercial property transaction has the knowledge and ability to understand the speed and the process required. Both  Lenders and Brokers are looking for a  solution to enable the right legal adviser to be put in place at the outset and the Movin Legal platform in conjunction with FIBA is a real development that will ensure there are more chances of successful completions across our sector.

The partnership using technology once again to find a solution will help FIBA members and intermediaries find the right legal deal to suit their clients’ needs and timescales in specialist markets, allowing them to place the client with the right solicitor for the right circumstances rather than relying on a one click approach which can sometimes lead to misleading and time delaying conclusions. 

John Ahmed, chief executive of Movin Legal, said: “COVID and the resulting pandemic over the last 18 months has shown how useful and essential good technology is for our industry. It has also highlighted how important it is to ensure positive communication between all parties on the more complex finance and legal deals. Not every transaction is clear cut and requires people to speak to each other to delve into the potential complexities of the case and what legal time-frame people are expecting.”

All of these partnership will help FIBA members find the right funder for business finance to suit their clients’ needs, help them with their sourcing of commercial property finance and also help them with their completion success. In conclusion they are not only providing an additional services for their customers, but adding to their own proposition as a financial intermediary.