10 Questions with... Craig Scott, Director of Commercial 1

10 Questions with... Craig Scott, Director of Commercial 1





1. How long have you been at Commercial 1 for and where were you before that?


I set up Commercial 1 with Danny Churchill and Martin Gilsenan at the start of 2003. How we got there is a long story, but Danny, Martin and I all meet whilst working at the lender Mortgage Trust, it started there – I sort of fell into the mortgage industry really...


I’d wasted a year or two at school thinking I would be a footballer, but coming from a working class background I was encouraged from a young age to stand on my own two feet, so whilst walking home after my last exam at college I saw an advertisement for office administrators in an employment agency, I applied and started work at the then mortgage lender Mortgage Trust.  


2. If you weren’t working in financial services what would you be doing instead?


I think I’d be in property, in the building game, my late grandfather and all of my mum’s side are all in the building trade...


And now I help people raise the money to do it instead! We facilitate a lot of development finance at Commercial 1 for our clients which I really enjoy; you see a wreck, you see the work start and then you see it finished, and the transformation is brilliant.


3. How did you come to be on the AOBP Committee and what do you hope to achieve with AOBP?


We were offered to become a member, mainly because of our strong presence and experience in the market place since 2003. Our expertise, knowledge and relationship with lenders is second to none.


I would like to see the AOBP raise the profile and reputation of the bridging market. Although it’s existed for many years there is still a myth amongst some; they don’t understand the market and there’s still this cloud that hangs over it... Yet without bridging it would be questionable as to whether many companies and clients alike would have survived the recession.


4. What’s the best and worst thing about your job?


The best thing for me is seeing a deal in its early stages and working its way through to its satisfactory completion – that puts a smile on my face. When I see the client’s needs have been met by us it’s a great feeling.


The worst thing – and I wouldn’t have said this three years ago – is having to turn away hundreds of good quality enquiries every month due to lack of appetite from mainstream funders and banks.


5. What trends have you noticed within bridging over the last 12 months, and what do you predict to happen over the next 12?


I expect to see a distinct increase in product innovation across the bridging sector, with the new entrants has come a new hunger. As we stand at the moment the players are reputable and they have the appetite and funding to be there, I think the increased competition is a great thing.


As for the next year, I think short term funding will continue to show appetite and product innovation will continue also. I expect to see more new entrants enter the market and more entrants come in to the secured loan market too. As for the mainstream banks, until they understand the multitude of the bad debt they are sitting on, I don’t think their appetite will remain the same as it currently is...


6. Who do you fancy off the telly?


Probably far too many to choose, but I really like Eva Mendes


7. Tell me one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?


I was the youngest person in the UK to undergo a cornea graph – otherwise known as an eye tissue transplant – I had it when I was 13. I’ve had two transplants since then, (which explains why my golf can be so erratic).


8. What would you put in room 101 given the chance?


Arsene Wenger and the whole of the Arsenal squad.


9. If you could have a super power for one day what would it be?


To find a cure for cancer.


10. Are you supporting an X Factor contestant and if so who?


I am, probably more from a viewing point of view as I don’t vote though.  With a wife and young kids, it’s all about X Factor on Saturday nights, all of my girls (my wife and daughters) are fans of Cher, but I like Rebecca. She’s got a great voice and I think she’s the only one there who’s genuine. She’s got exceptional talent and she’s modest in her approach, which I like.


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