DFT asked Ashley what brokers and lenders can do, as an industry, to make things more transparent when it comes to fees and charges, and comparing lenders.
“I don’t think standardisation is the answer,” he replied.
“…Often we are a little bit too drawn to the fact that cost is the driver.
“Cost is important, transparency is important, but there’s a whole raft of other areas where we compete,” he added.
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“If we are told to beat another lender’s terms on costs, I will say, ‘Well, actually, have you thought about, for example, that we release funds on the same day as the site inspection — the fact that the client gets the funds that quickly?’
“So, it’s not necessarily about standardisation or focusing too heavily on cost; there’s a wider conversation to be had about development finance offerings.
“It’s frustrating because we do lose deals based on cost when we are supposedly more expensive, [when], in reality, we’re not.”
In May, Ashley publicly posted a standard version of Magnet Capital’s lending terms on LinkedIn to boost transparency after claiming that some lenders were undercutting its rate but then “loading up with fees”.
DFT asked Ashley why he decided to do this and what interesting discussions he has had with industry peers since.
The full response can be viewed in the video, below.