Shawbrook's Evolution - Professional investors the key

Shawbrook's Evolution - Professional investors the key


Commercial mortgage specialists Intermediary First has announced that its partner Shawbrook Bank has streamlined case submission procedures for core term commercial mortgage products. 

On loans of £75,000 to £750,000 for investors and owner-occupiers, the changes are intended to offer a fast front end decision without compromising quality of business. 

Rachel Hanson, New Business Manager at Shawbrook Bank key partner Intermediary First, commented, “Shawbrook has evolved significantly since its launch and we expect these new procedures to improve service standards to our introducers. This is good news for new applicants who will benefit from a more robust application process. The timing is perfect as we anticipate increasing demand for Shawbrook’s attractive products.”

Following the announcement, we spoke to Stephen Johnson, New Business Director at Shawbrook, to find out a bit more about the Bank’s long-term plans, and how it’s adjusting to the market...

B&C: How has Shawbrook been received in the market since relaunch?  

SJ: Since launching in October of last year, the interest in Shawbrook has been phenomenal and we feel this shows there is real appetite for a bank that wants to do things differently. In an environment of uncertainty, we’re offering a clear, straightforward and common-sense approach– our commitment to making it easier for businesses to borrow and brokers to make deals happen is definitely being well received in the current market. During a period when the availability of credit to small businesses continues to be the central issue for supporting growth in the economy, our commitment to providing up to £500 million of new funding over the coming years is an important step in the right direction. 

B&C: Intermediary First has stated that you have now streamlined applications for the commercial process, could you explain a bit more about how you’ve done this and why?


SJ: We’re always looking at ways to improve service levels for customers and brokers and we are continually looking for ways to streamline the application process. Our latest initiative involves simplifying our initial information requirements as we have found the quality and depth of the information being provided enables us to provide a very accurate indicative offer of finance. Reflecting on this, we are confident we can defer some items to later in the process, helping us speed up the initial decision-making without compromising upon the accuracy of the decision.  

As part of the streamlined process, Shawbrook can provide an underwritten indicative offer upon receipt of a detailed case summary, a signed application form, financial information for trading businesses and/or a current portfolio schedule for property investors.

B&C: How have you found the transition with regard to moving into the short term lending market? How are you/do you plan to distinguish yourselves in a somewhat crowded market?  

SJ: We are very pleased with the initial response to our short term loan product. We have completed an encouraging volume, and most importantly have been able to move and complete quickly. Our term lending products specifically target professional investors, so it makes good commercial sense for us to extend the scope of our product range and support these clients with a short term facility. 

Yes it is a very crowded market, and to be truthful has all the hallmarks of overheating – increasing levels of commission, reducing rates and lenders pushing the risk curve. Our strategy is simple; we are able to offer very competitive pricing and are going to compete on providing the best deal for the client, with a committed focus on supporting professional and proven investors. I am confident we can evolve the product further still into the larger refurbishment and development sectors in due course and this is very much on our agenda in the coming months as well. Short term loans are an important niche, and complement our core lending. 

B&C: What are your views on the increasing numbers of new lenders looking to move into this space? 

SJ: Worrying in truth. The market feels too hot for me, and reminds me of how the mortgage market became pre-crunch. There is a lot of new money chasing the market and the applications for short term funding are only appropriate for certain clients. The industry needs to be very alive to the potential pitfalls. Bridging is, and should remain, a niche market, not a substitute for a lack of long term mortgage finance.

B&C: How does Shawbrook intend to keep its proposition fresh over the year to come?


SJ: We plan to listen! We have a great platform, with experienced and proven people and, perhaps most importantly of all, a clean balance sheet with strong funding. There are many clients out there who are finding the general lack of commercial funding very limiting, and with the help of the broker market we are well placed to provide solutions. 


By Miranda Atty

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