Exclusive Interview: Kevin Jones of InterBay Commercial

Exclusive Interview: Kevin Jones of InterBay Commercial

After his two decade involvement with one of the industry's highly-esteemed trade bodies, the ex-Chairman of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), Kevin Jones, has.

After his two decade involvement with one of the industry’s highly-esteemed trade bodies, the ex-Chairman of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB), Kevin Jones, has now returned to his lending roots to become a high profile addition to Interbay Commercial, the latest commercial lender to take the industry by storm.

Alexandra Jones sat down with Kevin to look both back at his time as NACFB Chairman and forward to his plans for InterBay in the coming months and years…

How did you initially get involved with the NACFB?

I’ve been part of the organisation in some form or other over the past 20 years, initially as a Patron when I was with Kredietbank. The Association supported our aims as a lender so it seemed only natural to join. I continued to be a member when I formed Omega Group and became a broker, and have been a part of the Association ever since. 

I have been on the NACFB board for over eight years, spending the past two years as Chairman.

What prompted you to step down as Chairman?

Following my two year tenure, I could have stepped back onto the Board of Directors, but the InterBay opportunity arose and I was unable to commit to both positions - a clear conflict would arise if a lender was at the head of a broker body. 

How did you hear about the role at InterBay and why were you attracted to the position?

Largely word of mouth; I’ve known Colin Bell, the CEO, for a long time and dealt with Interbay when they were last in the market. Its reputation has always been first-class so, when the opportunity arose to join the board as Sales and Marketing Director, naturally I took it.

What interested InterBay, I believe, was my experience within the sector; I’ve been a lender and broker for over 35 years which means I am aware both of brokers’ frustrations and lenders’ restrictions.  As a result, I firmly believe I am able to bring brokers the service they want from a lender as well as acknowledging banking restraints.

What have InterBay’s first few weeks been like?

InterBay aims to deliver quality service with controlled distribution via a select panel of “Key Partners”, first-class introducers through whom we’ve already seen a huge number of enquiries for our products across the board – it seems as though the market was well overdue a new lending addition.

We are already on target to exceed our initial business plans in terms of offers and completions, a credit to our key partners who have really helped us facilitate this.

Our focus is on maintaining a close working relationship with our chosen distribution channels for the time being. We want to deal with key partners who know what they’re doing, have the right ethos and also have a real intention of seeing a deal through; failing to control our panel at this stage could mean compromising our service.

Having said this, we will consider business from the wider broker market - through our Key Partner panel - at this time.  As we grow and when the time is right, we will look to increase the number of brokers we can deal with. 

What is the current focus of InterBay?

We’re undergoing a steady recruitment drive to ensure we have the correct number of staff in order to achieve our future targets.

We have a good team of 20 at our Fareham head office and, within the next year, we hope to considerably increase this number - this will include appointing some key figures in major posts. In line with this expansion, it is our plan to relocate offices into a larger and more accommodating space.  Any firmer plans will be in place once Neil Richardson, our new Commercial Real Estate Director and qualified surveyor, starts this week.

Interestingly, I have noticed that there are a number of ex-InterBay staff that have sought to come back to work for us – some four of our six latest recruits have previously worked here - which speaks volumes for the ethos instilled in our business .

What’s next for InterBay?

In line with our business plan, I very much want to establish InterBay back into the market as the top commercial lender and one which is known within the industry for delivering on its promises to the broker market. 

We’d like to expand our product range in line with ever-changing market conditions: we’re working on launching three new additions next year but exactly when will be dictated by demand and staffing levels. 

I believe we are set apart from most of our main competitors – namely Aldermore Bank and Shawbrook Bank – as InterBay is not a banking institution, meaning our focus is solely on day-to-day lending decisions 

This will undoubtedly set us apart from the crowd and let us fill a much needed void in the market.

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