The Association of Property Bankers was established in 1991. The idea arose in the mid-’80s, when it became obvious that individual commercial property lending teams had little idea of the existence, operations or philosophies of other property lending teams and therefore no concept of the overall commercial property loans market.
There followed increased inter-bank co-operation on property lending, through the greater popularity of syndicated loans and – as the market deteriorated in the early ’90s – it became clear that there were principally two separate (and sometimes conflicting) approaches extant in the market: those of ‘ordinary’ bank lenders and those of specialist property lenders. It made sense to pull together the specialist property lenders into a representative organisation to promulgate their views and approach to lending, as as to provide a forum for discussion of important issues.
Originally, there was a small group of Founder Members, pulled together by Richard Lovell, who was the initiator and Founding President of the organisation. Once they had established a framework and Regulations for the body, a second tranche of Founder Members were brought in and preparations were made for a Public Launch.
The Public Launch was attended by representatives from many bodies and companies involved in the UK commercial property market. The keynote address was by Pen Kent, Director of the Bank of England, who gave strong encouragement to the organisation and the Launch was responsible for the creation of the Bank of England Property Forum.
APB is still prospering, although its aims and operations are a little different from those envisaged by the Founder Members.
Details of the early days, Founders Members and the original philosophy and ambitions for the body will be set out on a separate page.