Roma Finance joins Bridging Loan Directory
By David Craik -
Bridging and development finance lender Roma Finance has joined the Bridging Loan Directory to build on the momentum of its recent re-brand.
The Manchester based short and medium-term lender, set up 13 years ago by Scott Marshall and named after his late grandparents Rose and Max, operates throughout England, Scotland and Wales.
It offers residential, commercial, refurbishment, development, conversions and auction finance loans as well as buy-to-let solutions for developers, property investors and landlords.
Bridging loan sizes range from £75,000 to £3million with LTVs of up to 75% and a maximum size of £2million for development finance.
Its 5-year buy-to-let mortgage purchase and refinance product enables landlords to retain their property but release the equity. Loans go up to £500,000 and LTVs go up to 70% and 75% if exiting a Roma bridge.
“The pandemic brought many challenges,” explains commercial director Nick Jones. “Opportunities and appetites changed throughout the year, so we enhanced our criteria and product ranges and introduced new solutions across commercial bridging and holiday lets to remain ahead of the market.”
Roma has doubled business activity over the last 12 months and taken on over 10 new staff to take its total to 35.
“The Government support for the housing market has helped but we have also adapted well and remained agile,” adds Jones.
“We put beneficial technology in place such as online identification checkers and automatic valuations and were able to keep lending when many others stopped, especially on the commercial side.
We introduced fee-free Covid loan extensions and we actively expanded our distribution by getting out into the market and talking to intermediaries.”
Part of this was emphasising Roma’s ‘unique’ lending philosophy.
“We underwrite the person before we underwrite the property,” Jones explains. “We look at their drive and motivation and experience if any in the market.
Most lenders look at the property first and then consider the security. Even if that security looks challenging, if we know that the right person is at the helm then we can make good things happen. It’s about looking at loans on a tailored case by case basis.”
This message underpins Roma’s rebrand back in mid-February. A new slogan called ‘Lending Less Ordinary’ was unveiled as well as a more colourful and professional looking website and logo.
“It’s a challenge to rebrand in a pandemic but the timing was right,” says Roma’s head of marketing Charlotte Rutter. “We grew so much in 2020 that our existing imagery and identity seemed mis-matched.
We talked to a lot of people in the marketplace including brokers and customers and asked them what they wanted from a bridging lender and also what they thought Roma was.
The ‘Lending Less Ordinary’ message reflects our processes and our desire to be clear, concise and accurate with our partners.”
Rutter says joining the Bridging Loan Directory will help its aim.
“It produces a lot of unique content and is a valuable tool and site for intermediaries,” she states. “It will help us expand our network and reach as many people as we can.”
As for the market Jones sees continued growth in refurbishment and development, which he considers to be the two biggest growth areas in short-term finance at present.
“There are lots of opportunities particularly in commercial and semi-commercial and we recently reduced rates now beginning at 0.99% and 0.9% respectively,” he explains. “We intend to continue on our upward trajectory!”
Tony Sanchez, founder, Bridging Loan Directory, said:
“It’s a real pleasure to welcome a company of Roma Finance’s quality and reputation onto the Bridging Loan Directory, proving once more that the Bridging Loan Directory is the first choice for specialist lenders looking to raise their profile and reach a wider audience.
With their enhanced criteria and product range, Roma Finance offer something completely unique in the market and I have no doubt they will appeal to brokers and clients looking for bespoke finance solutions.”