The Five Minute Interview with Colin Bell, Managing Director, Commercial Mortgages, Hampshire Trust Bank


Hampshire Trust Bank is a specialist challenger bank, focused on financing commercial customers based on best principles in relationship banking, delivered by experts in their fields.

It specialises in asset finance, commercial finance and property finance. Hampshire Trust Bank also offers consistently competitive personal and business savings accounts.

We speak to Managing Director, Commercial Mortgages, Colin Bell:

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

Specialist lending is what Hampshire Trust Bank is all about. The Commercial Mortgages team will be providing commercial mortgages, buy-to-let and specialist short-term lending.

The best thing about bridging is that it is fast paced, delivering to a really well defined need and bridging requires my team to deliver speed and certainty to a very high standard and I have the right people to do that.

What keeps you focused?

Being busy, being mentally challenged and delivering results – some of the main reasons for being at Hampshire Trust Bank.

I work best when I am busy and I love challenges and results are what we are good at – life would be dull without a good challenge.

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

Team fit, self-motivation, sense of humour, and intelligence – I am demanding! This is a people business – if you get this right the customers get a great experience and we all get results.

We are building a bank to be proud of.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Optimist always – this does not mean I am not a realist, I am. Whilst there isn’t positive in everything you can move negative things into becoming positive.

What did you want to be as a child?

I wanted to be a helicopter pilot – whilst I didn’t achieve it as a job I did learn to fly helicopters in my twenties so I kind of ticked that one off.

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

The challenge is ensuring that you make good decisions and ensure you are ready to react to market and economic changes.

For example, the Brexit debate is causing a lot of unrest – there is a lot of scaremongering going on. As a lender we have to stick to the sound principles of lending and running a bank and prepare for either outcome.

Who or what makes you laugh?

My daughter – she is almost 7 and has a wicked sense of humour and she likes a good laugh herself as well. She is quick witted and cutting and it just takes me by surprise from someone so young.

Do you dread Monday mornings?

No – I enjoy my work life and I enjoy my home life – they complement each other and both have interesting, positive and fun elements.

Mondays are just the start of a working week – if you don’t like Mondays you are in the wrong job so do something about it!

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

I guess I can be impatient at times, and it can cause me to get frustrated but really that comes from a desire to get things done so it is not all bad.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Aside from my family, I think it would be good to share a table with Jimmy Carr to make the meal hilarious, the Prime Minister (whomever it is at the time) as it would be good to have the ear of someone I wouldn’t normally be able to speak to.

It would be good to have Ferran Adrià prepare the dinner and join us as at the table, he is a genius and quite unique. Humour, influence and great food.