81% of property and commercial finance brokers responding to United Trust Bank’s most recent Broker Sentiment Survey believe they are prepared for a second wave of Covid-19.
The survey, carried out amongst over 130 brokers also revealed that nearly a third (32%) of respondents are currently busier than they were this time last year, 27% as busy as this time last year and 17% reported they were busier than they have ever been. The remaining 24% reported lower levels of enquiries.
When asked about their arrangements for flexible working, 46% are considering maintaining their current home / remote working arrangements over the next 12 months with a further 18% considering increasing their working from home (WFH) capability.
21% of brokers indicated that they would be keeping their options open and just 15% said that they would be aiming to bring all their staff back to the office as per pre-Covid-19 arrangements.
42% of brokers indicated that their business would be increasing investment in technology over the next 12 months with 60% saying that they would maintain or increase their use of Zoom or other video conferencing systems. 21% also suggested that they intended to increase the number of permanent staff.
Harley Kagan, Group Managing Director of United Trust Bank, commented: “The Government has indicated that a second wave of Coronavirus is building, local lockdowns are already in place around the UK and further restrictions appear inevitable. It’s therefore encouraging to see that most brokers consider themselves prepared to deal with the challenges a second wave may bring. With so many also reporting good levels of business, there’s a strong sense within the specialist finance industry that whatever happens, many lenders and brokers have the technology and processes in place to maintain their operations.
“It was a steep learning curve going into the nationwide lockdown but by implementing various fintech solutions, adopting new processes and very quickly adapting to WFH arrangements, UTB has had a strong performance so far this year. I’m very proud of the way the team have responded to the unprecedented challenges we’ve faced, and this has enabled us to keep lending and supporting brokers and borrowers throughout the pandemic. Their resilience gives me confidence that even if we are presented with another nationwide lockdown, UTB will remain open for business and standing shoulder to shoulder with our broker partners throughout and beyond this crisis.”