LendInvest has tightened its lending and frozen recruitment due to the coronavirus pandemic, chief executive Rod Lockhart has revealed.
Lockhart, who was promoted to chief executive of the alternative property lender in January, said this crisis will have a financial impact on the business.
“We’ve already had to make some important choices about our lending criteria, tightening it in places where it makes sense to be more prudent and circumspect while events unfold,” Lockhart said in a blog on the company’s website.
“We want to be as conservative as we can to avoid having to make drastic decisions that could impact on all of you.”
LendInvest is still lending, processing applications and completing loans already in its pipeline.
However, Lockhart said the inability to physically inspect and value properties is a massive hurdle for LendInvest and every other lender in the market.
“We’ve decided that we don’t want to go into hibernation, put down the blinds, and leave thousands of borrowers, brokers and investors in different sorts of limbo,” Lockhart said in the blog.
“Instead, we want to try to keep lending and creating investment opportunities, albeit with much greater caution.
“We also want to make sure that when this is over, we’re best placed to hit the ground running again.”
Lockhart said the business is limiting expenditure as much as possible and is efficiently working from home because it is a fintech firm.
He added that before the coronavirus hit, investor sentiment was positive, and the housing market was recovering well from Brexit uncertainty.
However, Lockhart warned that the amount of government borrowing to bolster British businesses and families through this crisis is staggering and said that its impact on the economy could last for years.