Broker, borrower, backer.

When it comes to lending, we believe BBB is the best and here is why.


BBB refers to Broker, Borrower, Backer. At B&W, only when a tick can be placed firmly in each of these boxes, will a case proceed. The broker will ask us to evaluate a case they have for a client, the borrower. If this meets our criteria and is something that we can facilitate, as the backer, only then will it proceed, and we will see it through to completion.

However, I have been in specialist lending long enough to know this is not always the case in the industry. Deals have proceeded with other lenders, despite them not being right for one or more of the parties involved. This lack of transparency benefits nobody and it certainly does not give the broker the certainty of outcome they expect. It creates mistrust and if it ever happened at B&W, it would totally compromise our promise of no grey areas. That’s not something I can countenance and nor should the broker.

Nobody likes saying no

If a deal is not something we can lend on, we will tell the broker the reasons why. Saying no is never easy in life. In the 80’s, TSB famously referred to themselves as ‘the bank that likes to say yes’, but we will not lend money just to increase our loan book for the sake of doing so. Let’s not forget, behind every lender, are varying types of investors and we must protect their interests too. Without them, the pool of specialist lenders would be much smaller.

Sticking to our principles of truly transparent lending means we sometimes must decline a deal. Don’t get me wrong, I do not like turning business away and the prospect of a valued broker falling into the arms of a competitor, but the deal must be right for all the parties.

Over the course of my career, I have seen deals turn sour that we have rejected, where another lender has taken the risk. Do I feel joyful when this happens? Of course not, but it serves as a daily reminder that our values and principles are the right ones. I know when we say no, it is for the right reasons and we discuss them with the broker at length, so they fully understand the reasoning.

Not always simple

Just because we have set principles when it comes to lending, does not mean we are only interested in vanilla cases. We have completed some rather complex and obscure deals, which may have not suited other lenders, but because they ticked all three boxes, we were able to go ahead and subsequently completed on these deals.

Our aim is to lend, but it must be right for everyone. That is BBB. Certainty of outcome, truly transparent lending with no grey areas.

Recent Articles