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This Bank Says Yes To Deals Many Others Don’t Take The Time To Understand

9 Apr 2016

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Professional property businesses and charities providing housing for the vulnerable often find mainstream banks fail to understand their aims and end up giving a ‘computer says no’ response.

But, alongside its more standard mainstream property lending, niche lender Cambridge & Counties Bank also often says ‘yes, we can’ to these vital organisations which support those most in need.

Recent deals where Cambridge & Counties have approved finance include emergency housing, care providers and halfway houses – scenarios likely to be rejected by other lenders.

Sue Higginson, the Bank’s director of business development in East Anglia, who has worked on all these applications and many more, said: “Lots of other lenders run a mile when assisted living, DSS tenants and emergency housing are mentioned. We know these cases need careful consideration but that’s where the different way we underwrite comes into its own.”

“At Cambridge & Counties Bank we pride ourselves on keeping an open mind. We’re keen to hear the details and prepared to take a look at applications in the round, and, if we can say yes, we will lend. Often all it takes is a bespoke approach to the deal to gain a full understanding of the applicants and their tenants.”

Sue’s recent deals include:

  • Supporting a professional firm which lets to adults with learning difficulties, where the tenancy agreement has been adapted to include pictures to help the tenants understand the document
  • A property with established record of being used by a local council as emergency housing
  • A newly converted house in multiple occupation let on a commercial lease to an individual specialising in placing council tenants in a safe haven at short notice, for periods as short as one night
  • A building let to a care provider and used as a ‘half way’ house for young women leaving care at 16. Each room is self-contained so that they develop a sense of living independently, but there is an adult supervisor on site to keep an eye out for them
  • A property owned by a housing charity and let on the open market.

Sue said: “Collectively, these deals demonstrate our flexible approach to tenant type when lending on residential properties. One size does not fit all, and the Bank’s manual underwriting allows us to properly assess the individual deal risks to lend where others might not.”

Cambridge & Counties Bank began 2016 having lent more than £450 million to small and medium sized businesses and experienced property investors.

Cambridge & Counties Bank’s Cambridge office is at 42 Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AJ and the telephone number is 01223 311499.