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.
Their Property Finance division provides finance to the specialist residential investment and commercial property market, and to professional property investors, SME owner-occupiers, as well as providing second-charge mortgages to consumers.
We speak to sales director, property finance, Emma Cox:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging finance business?
The thing that I like the most is that I see bridging as a solution led proposition that drives a dynamic marketplace for borrowers that need more from their lending partners. It’s the variety of customer and brokers that makes this market so appealing, plus the satisfaction when you know you have helped a customer achieve their goals.
The breadth and depth of the market is vast as it captures every possible type of lending on almost any type of asset. This encourages a competitive environment that certainly keeps lenders on their toes! I have also seen the bridging market come into its own over the last few years.
The journey to improve standards around better practices and outcomes for customers is well underway. However, not all lenders are equal in this regard and that’s why the role of the broker that can help a borrower navigate around potential pitfalls is paramount.
What keeps you focused?
The drive to constantly evolve what we do. It’s overcoming challenges in a way that considers our brokers and customers as part of the solution.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Someone prepared to roll their sleeves up with a ‘can do’ approach. For me it’s important to be around a mix of personalities, diverse skills and points of view, but fundamentally a GSOH is a must!
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
A realistic optimist!
What did you want to be as a child?
I feel like I should say a vet or teacher or something but the truth is from a young age I wanted to run my own pub… Just to explain my dad was a pub landlord in when I was growing up.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging and development finance industry in the coming months?
Valuation challenges as a result of COVID-19. Exits depending on sale of property could become protracted. Borrowers not prepared to consider alternative funding strategies.
Who or what makes you laugh?
Our Head of Sales Gavin Seaholme makes me laugh every day.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Be more organised!
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
It’s a bit cheesy but as we’re just coming through lockdown it has to be my partner, my friends and family…