Providing truly tailored lending solutions in the Wales and the South West
To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we sat down with one of our longest-standing brokers, Simon Harrison of Flexible Commercial Funding Ltd. He has been working with Paul Howard, Regional Director (West & Wales) at Cambridge & Counties Bank, and Paul’s team since our Bristol office opened in 2014.
During this time, the bank has provided around £56m in funding to his clients. The biggest to date was c. £10m in late 2020 – at the height of the pandemic. The current lending pipeline is around £3m.
Here's what Simon had to say...
What support has the bank given your business over the last eight years?
Lots! Paul and the bank have a very positive attitude to getting deals agreed. And Paul works tirelessly to get deals approved. Cambridge & Counties Bank are a great alternative to the high street banks who are currently very cautious in all sectors of lending, applying standard criteria to all businesses. Cambridge & Counties Bank deal with clients on an individual basis and start from a stance of wanting to help which is very unique.
Insights on your business plans and how you expect the next 10 years to go?
Retirement! I’ll be 56 this year and intend working for at least another 10 years. I am as busy as I have ever been currently and can’t see it slowing down any time soon. And Cambridge & Counties Bank will be a fundamental part of that, I’m sure.
How has your business grown as a result of this support?
It gives us a very credible option to the High Street and other lenders. Without Cambridge & Counties Bank we may not have been able to place certain deals and help certain clients capitalise on growth opportunities.
Your view of the support received from Cambridge & Counties Bank?
Excellent on every level. Even where businesses have been facing issues, as many of ours have over the past two years, the bank has striven to work with us and business owners, whatever their issues, and find solutions. And you don’t get to meet the CEO of the High Street Banks. The whole team at Cambridge are interested and want to be involved!
Has the bank provided new funding for clients recently– if so, what was this for?
We have quite a few deals agreed going through credit, legal and so forth.
One really good recent example is an exhibition company who bank with a well-known High Street name. They have had no business for two years and now have a full order book. They have continued to repay their loans without fail.
But, for whatever reason, their bank decided they wanted to exit the relationship and Cambridge & Counties Bank as usual came through quickly on funding. While only c. 40% LTV this was a huge relief for my clients as they have not been in this situation before.