The Five Minute Interview with Steve Swyny, Head of Sales, First 4 Bridging
Specialist distributor First 4 Bridging (F4B) has been established for almost 20 years, primarily specialising in bridging and development finance. It has recently achieved fully regulated status with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to mark an important milestone for the business as it looks to expand into other market sectors. With its extensive market knowledge and close relationships with a range of specialist lenders, F4B is looking to utilise this new regulatory status to build on its reputation as one of the UK’s leading specialist distributors.
We speak to Head of Sales, Steve Swyny:
What is the best thing about being in the bridging and development finance business?
No two days are ever the same, there are always new challenges to consider and overcome.
What keeps you focused?
Working to deadlines and key projects we are currently working on. Obviously, sales targets feature highly too.
What qualities do you look for in your employees or colleagues?
Loyalty, honesty, tenacity and hardworking – old fashioned values which have always stood the test of time.
Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
I am definitely an optimist.
What did you want to be as a child?
I come from a family with a heritage in engineering. So naturally, I wanted to be an engineer. The life skills still serve me well to this day.
What will be the greatest challenge facing the bridging and development finance industry in the coming months?
Great question. I feel that there are two main areas.
Education – This is really important, particularly for customers and brokers who are new to bridging finance. The perception that bridging loans only help homeowners buy properties, for example, is certainly not true – it is now seen as a mainstream financing option for a whole range of borrowing needs.
Tech – A number of lenders are now looking at ‘robo-underwriting’ where risk assessment, affordability testing and decision making are done by a computer rather than a person. Bridging is a specialist, complex product that requires someone with expert knowledge to properly take on and underwrite cases. We still value the human touch and it’s important that we get this balance right moving forward
Who or what makes you laugh?
Some of the comics from the 70’s and 80’s are really funny. Irish comic Dave Allen was great, as was the Monty Python crew.
Do you dread Monday mornings?
No. I look forward to the new week and the fresh challenges it brings.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My eyesight! The older I get the worse it gets. I have to take my glasses off to read the messages on my phone which my children think is hilarious.
With whom would you most like to have dinner?
After the obvious answer of spending quality time with my wife and close family, it would have to be the late great John Surtees. Still the only person who has won World Championships on two wheels and four wheels.