The body which represents bridging lenders added that the bridging market was open for business and that it was finding innovative ways to keep lending.
In a statement issued today, ASTL CEO Vic Jannels (pictured) acknowledged some borrowers were having difficulties but lenders had been working proactively to engage customers to identify the most appropriate course of action for their circumstances.
“There will certainly be some customers who are experiencing financial distress as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, and our immediate guidance for these customers is to speak to their lender as soon as possible, so that you can work together towards a solution,” he said.
“Notwithstanding the above, it is important for all borrowing customers to remember that they have a contractual responsibility in relation to the interest payments due, subject to the terms of the loan, and to redeem their loans at the appropriate time.
“Lenders will always be willing to have a conversation with their customers and look to be supportive whenever possible.”
Jannels warned borrowers that there was no excuse not to engage with lenders.
“The current pandemic, however, is no reason to simply ignore your obligations and stop making payments or refuse to communicate with your lender,” he continued.
“Bridging lenders work tirelessly to engage with customers in genuine difficulty but they, in turn, have their investors and funders to consider and, in turn, do not want to be in breach of their commitments
“So, our guidance for all customers is to talk immediately to your lender if you are experiencing financial distress. There are often sensible options and ways forward, but these can only be identified by working together.”
Jannels added that lenders had been introducing new technology to improve their operations in the current situation and that the trade body had also received new applications during the crisis.