25 January 2021
Hundreds of lenders and brokers attended FIBA’s Annual Conference, which was held virtually on 20th January.
The event — for which 350 attendees registered — comprised keynote speeches, panel discussions, and live breakout rooms, and brought together a variety of specialist finance experts to discuss their experiences of 2020, the key lessons learned, and what 2021 is likely to have in store for lenders, brokers, businesses, and investors.
Throughout the conference, participants were able to visit exhibitors’ virtual stands to discuss their products and services, and connect with representatives from MFS, Landbay, Aspen Bridging, CG&Co, InterBay, LendInvest, Knowledge Bank, Masthaven, Octane Capital, Roma Finance and many others.
In between the time allocated to ‘walk’ the virtual exhibition hall, three discussion panels were held on various topics.
The first panel, moderated by Adam Tyler, executive chairman at FIBA (pictured above), brought together Daniel Richardson, insolvency practitioner at CG&Co, Paresh Raja, CEO at MFS, Nick Jones, commercial director at Roma Finance, and Mark Posniak, managing director at Octane Capital, to discuss the current state and the future of commercial property.
For the second panel, Liz Syms, CEO at Connect for Intermediaries — who chaired the discussion — Jack Coombs, director at Aspen Bridging, Nick Smith, group managing director at Rewards Finance Group, and Jason Oakley, founder and CEO of Recognise Bank, talked about the growing role of the broker in a wider range of funding opportunities.
“There is still not enough recognition for the role played by the broker in getting the deal over the line,” said Liz, during the discussion.
The final panel, which was chaired by Paul Brett, managing director for intermediaries at Landbay, included Matthew Tooth, chief commercial officer at LendInvest, Mike Davies, head of business development at YBS Commercial, Roger Morris, group distribution director at InterBay, and D’mitri Zaprzala, head of residential at Octopus Real Estate.
The five specialist finance experts discussed the new regulatory and taxation changes for the BTL market and the opportunities they provided for the broker community.
According to D’mitri, while there were more prospects, brokers also faced the challenge of keeping up to date with all the changes.
Commenting on the success of the event, Adam said: “After many years of hosting industry events and appearing in front of a live audience, this FIBA conference gave my great pleasure in knowing that we could all come together as an industry at a sold-out virtual event and still come away feeling we had shared a really positive experience.
“This has given me great hope for the future to see such brilliant numbers, to hear positive thoughts from some of our great speakers and to know that nearly one year on, we are all still doing business together as brokers and lenders.
“There has been so much positive feedback that we are now ready for the next virtual event, but lets hope that one day very soon, we can also return to live ones.
“However, the conference this week has shown that there is a place for both virtual and live in the future.
“Finally, we were celebrating the third anniversary of the launch of FIBA, and have come a long way since 2018.
“There are so many more exciting initiatives to come in 2021, including the launch of the FIBA Commercial Club.
“We grew our membership by more than 100% in 2020 and, with the addition of more benefits and a growing number of lender partners, I want to look forward positively to 2021 and wish everybody a safe and healthy year.”