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Lending money in uncertain times – by Stuart Wickham

Lending money has always been fundamentally the same with a simple question at its core:  will I get this money back?

Yet, in economically-uncertain times, the lenders’ job can be much harder – and these feel like very uncertain times indeed.

Many of the considerations of a loan application are the same as they have always been.  For instance, borrowers’ characters remain key, and repayments must still be affordable and realistic.

Less certain might be employment stability and the future values of property acting as security.

The portents might be different from 2007 but I think there are parallels to be drawn.  Back then, we had the unchecked rise of sub-prime and self-cert lending; unsustainable increases in personal debt; the downturn in global property values and the collapse of the interbank loan market.

No wonder things took a turn for the worse.

Today we have a worrying reduction in global growth, particularly in China; less political stability than I can remember; and, above all, the looming shadow of Brexit causing a wave of economic uncertainty.

Now I’m no expert on economics, but nothing feels typical any more.  We knew where we stood with the 7-year economic cycles and the politically-driven shift between Keynesianism and monetarist policies.  Quantitative easing and Blair’s Third Way seemed to change things somewhat and now Brexit is making us all learn lessons in real time.

What’s going to happen to the property market seems impossible to predict.

A friend of mine recently asked for my opinion on whether to jump on the property ladder or wait a while to get better value for money.  Let me think, I said.  Reduced property supply, potential for recession, reduced consumer confidence, the danger of creeping interest rates.  My conclusion: Your guess is as good as mine.

Against this backdrop, lending money feels as hard as it’s ever been.

My view is that lenders will do well to be prudent. Having strong people assessing applications is paramount.  It doesn’t feel like a good time to be making bad decisions.

No surprise then that the appetite for brilliant decision-makers is on the up.

At Insure Recruitment, we are seeing an unprecedented demand for the best underwriting talent in the market.  Flexible working, home-based opportunities and improved salaries are prevalent.

Let’s face it, given the economic uncertainty out there, these people deserve it.

Contact Insure Recruitment to discuss mortgage underwriter opportunities in your area on 01483 668700.

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