2018 Business Predictions: Neil Roper, Regional Relationship Director, Assetz Capital

Continuing our series, in which Business Link Magazine invites business leaders to offer up their predictions for the year ahead. We catch up with Neil Roper, Regional Relationship Director at Assetz Capital to see what he feels 2018 might hold for readers: 
“We have seen an increased appetite from Midlands businesses in peer-to-peer lending throughout 2017. This spans from the level of enquiries to the number of actual deals drawn, and we expect these levels to continue into the New Year. Within the property sector, we’ve noticed a steady stream of enquiries in Purpose Built Student Accommodation (“PBSA”), and we expect this market to remain favourable in 2018, with investor appetite also strong to support the required exits.
“The amount Midlands businesses have borrowed from Assetz Capital has increased almost twofold – with figures doubling from £17m in 2016 to £34m this year. Typical loans are in the region of £500,000 to £7.5m and come in the form of bridging loans, commercial mortgages and development finance. There’s also an increased appetite from businesses for flexible forms of funding that suit their individual needs and brokers are becoming more aware of the different types of funding available. As the high street banks continue to present challenges to SMEs, this level of flexibility will remain key in 2018 and poses an opportunity for more alternative lenders to enter the marketplace.”