The demand for mortgages for house purchases has slowed down so the lenders are dropping their prices. Five year fixed rate deals can be had at less than 2.0%! This is jolly exciting if you are a problem –free applicant buying a new home or if you are on a lender’s standard variable rate and want to remortgage. But what about everyone else?

Ever since the Mortgage Market Review came on the horizon lenders have been falling over themselves to stay on the best side of the regulator, to the detriment of perfectly capable borrowers. Proving affordability with very many lenders has become ridiculously difficult, as they examine bank statements with a magnifying glass, query items of even discretionary personal expenditure and dismiss sources of income which a few months ago were perfectly acceptable.

No thought then of actually working to more inclusive lending criteria.

And the same is true on the commercial loan and business front, only without the price war! Yes, there may be some haggling over loans of £500,000 plus, but the average micro or small business is faced with a distinctly “take it or leave it” attitude; if they are lucky enough to be offered anything at all. Sadly, this stance is not only taken by the traditional high street lenders: it’s also true of the challenger banks.

With 85% of business lending still in the hands of the big 4/5 high street banks the country is in dire need of someone breaking the mould and having a more open mind on what constitutes a supportable business. Until that shining knight rides in we are left with using the alternative lenders and encouraging them to build up their loan books.

That, dear professional adviser, is where your clients need you. Only 10% of business owners are well aware of alternative lenders, 60% have a vague idea they exist and 30% think there are no lenders beyond the high street. Business owners need you: please help.