10 Questions with Colin Jones of United Trust Bank

10 Questions with Colin Jones of United Trust Bank



A Brighton & Hove Albion fan who would like to ban call centres and have the power of healing…



Jason McGee-Abe spoke to Colin Jones, recently appointed Business Development Manager at United Trust Bank…






(1) How long have you been in the industry and how did you get to where you are now?



My first job was at Midland Bank and I quickly realised that commercial lending, and property finance in particular, interested me far more than retail banking. This was before Midland set up their corporate division and it was harder to specialise in those days, so after a few years of getting increasingly frustrated I left to join a property bank and have now specialised in property finance for 25 years.






(2) What did you want to be when you were younger?



As a young boy I wanted to be a train driver and then as a teenager I considered a career in the army. Fortunately my housemaster at school persuaded me to go with the local army cadets to camp for a week and then to attend a couple of career seminars, and by the time I was 18 I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in banking.






(3) What is the most significant difference you have seen in terms of development finance over the years up to now?



The clearing banks are not really in the market presently which is giving lenders such as United Trust Bank a great chance to grow our market share and lend to customers who previously dealt exclusively with the big banks.






(4) Which sports team do you support, if any, and why?



Brighton & Hove Albion. They were my local team as a youngster and my father used to take me to see them play in the old third division. It has been a real roller coaster ride as a supporter and it is great to see them in a fantastic new stadium and doing well in the Championship.






(5) If you could change one thing about the sector, what would it be?



Change government legislation regarding the time it takes to obtain planning consent for developments and the need to include such a high percentage of affordable housing. It is stifling development.






(6) If you could have one superpower, what would you choose and why?



The power of healing. There are too many serious and tragic illnesses that strike indiscriminately.






(7) What was the last film you saw and what did you think of it?



Alice in Wonderland, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter. My elder daughter was back from university last weekend so we had a night in and watched a film, chosen by my daughters. I did not want to see it and only did so reluctantly, but surprisingly enjoyed it.






(8) What would you put in room 101 if you had the chance?



Call centres and automated phone systems where you have to go through a series of choices before you get to speak to a real person. I do not like having to wait 30 minutes to speak to someone at a utility company and then find they are in another country. Whatever happened to customer service?






(9) What do you expect to happen in the development finance industry over the next 12 months?



I do not see many significant changes over the next 12 months. Economic conditions are unlikely to improve quickly so sales of completed houses will continue to be difficult to achieve for our house builder customers, and I think the high street banks will continue to shun this sector.




(10) If you could do anything you wanted this Sunday, what would it be?



"I am playing in a golf competition on Sunday so it would be nice to play well and win for a change".


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