The Five Minute Interview with Jeremy Law, Commercial Director, Shawbrook Bank

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Jeremy Law

Shawbrook is a specialist UK savings and lending bank founded in 2011 to serve the needs of SMEs and individuals in the UK with a range of lending and saving products. At 31 December 2016 their total lending reached more than £4.1 billion and they have now raised more than £3.9 billion in deposits since their launch.

We speak to commercial director, Jeremy Law:

What is the best thing about being in the property finance business?

It’s the exciting end of the property market where you get to see people having a vision for something new and an ambition and you feel like you are making a real difference helping get projects off the ground…..

What keeps you focused?

Working for an ambitious business with a can do culture that allows you to think about how you can help it grow and support our customers better.  It’s all about customers at the end of the day and I passionately believe the big banks give their customers a bad deal….so helping change this keeps me focused.

What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?

Someone who comes to work to enjoy themselves – we all spend far too much time in work not to enjoy it!  For me cultural fit is paramount, ensuring they will gel with colleagues and be inspired by the business and the opportunity – great teams build great businesses!

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I am definitely glass half full.  Well 3 quarters fully…honestly probably 9 tenths full.  It’s far easier to put energy into something that you believe has an upside…

What did you want to be as a child?

I was quite entrepreneurial as a child and ran a few small businesses in school, a very successful sweet business that went from strength to strength until I expanded my market to all classes and the headmaster closed it down as teachers were complaining about kids eating sweets in school….so early on I always saw myself as an entrepreneur.  As I grew a little older I became a sailing instructor, loved the outdoors and became a skiing nut….so my plan was skiing instructor by winter and sailing instructor in the summer….I may still realise that ambition.  Got to help UK banking customers 1st.

What will be the greatest challenge facing the property finance industry in the coming months?

The gap between the necessary dwellings and those that are actually built persists and this continues to be a key challenge for the industry.  Permanent dwellings completed in England continues to be below 150K annually against estimates of additional housing needed of circa 220K-300K.  So we need more land released, more planning agreed and more homes built!

Who or what makes you laugh?

My 6 year old boys makes me laugh most days….but good movies, good friends and good wine help too!

Do you dread Monday mornings?

No not at all.  I bounce out of bed on Monday’s to get another week going, energised following a fun weekend.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I’d love to need much less sleep so I could do much more during the day.  It frustrates me that I need to sleep 7-8 hours a night!

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Nelson Mandela but I guess that’s tricky now.  So if it can’t be him I’m going to be greedy.  From business its probably Elon Musk or Richard Branson as they are true visionaries and disrupters of our time.  I think the tech titans have got lucky with one move whereas these guys are constantly changing things.  Then there is the Queen…not because I am a royalist but wow she has lived through some amazing times and met some amazing people…she must have some stories!  From sport probably Arsene Wenger (for clarity I am a Liverpool supporter not an Arsenal one!) as I think he has amazing resilience and strategic nous plus and ability to spot and coach young talent.  But really it’s my lovely wife!