The Five Minute Interview with Stephen Rowland, Underwriter, Bridgebank Capital



Bridgebank CapitalBridgebank Capital are one of the UK’s leading property finance lenders in the area of Bridging and Short Term property finance, specialising in residential and commercial property transactions.

We speak to their newest recruit, underwriter, Stephen Rowland:

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

Each proposition is unique and allows the underwriter to perform risk analysis on a case by case basis that will identify the overall risks, and ways in which these can be mitigated,

Due diligence is pivotal in this sector, both from an underwriting and legal perspective, with a healthy loan book that is churning well as a result….underwriter satisfaction.

Also, building relationships with our brokers and clients, offering the best possible service in what is a very competitive lending sector.

For me, it is important to establish contact with the introducing broker at the earliest stage of the process, making the introductory call so the broker knows exactly what the process is , discussing the proposition, and obtaining as much information as possible in that call, with full understanding of what their clients intentions are.

Keeping the broker updated throughout the process is vital, managing expectations.

What keeps you focussed?

With 15 years underwriting experience under my belt I have continuously strived to absorb as much knowledge as possible, to overcome the many lending scenarios presented on a day to day basis, you never stop developing as an underwriter……

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

Open and honest, having the ability to effectively communicate and having an understanding of customer service are key elements.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I think underwriters (or the ones I know!) have a dark side……minor keys…….I would say that I am a realist!

What did you want to be as a child?

Unencumbered with a low geared portfolio…..not really……I was a keen runner (sport!) and footballer, so anything in that field (no pun intended) would have been ideal…..obviously that didn’t happen and hence I am here answering these questions……

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

Separating the wheat from the chaff…….

The need to constantly monitor the mainstream lenders….. what may have previously been a viable exit route may no longer be an option, the importance of the broker researching the exit route based on customer profile and circumstances, having a plan B.

We remain in a volatile economical climate, so between lender and broker, it is important that applicants are fully aware of the type of finance being offered to them, and any potential financial penalties that may be imposed should redemption of the short term funding not occur….. we must never lose sight of what our purpose is, and our obligations to our applicants.

Who or what makes you laugh?

My 6 year old son and Alan Partridge…..there are others…..being a northern lad I have a sense of humour worth an admission fee!

Do you dread Monday mornings?

Only the traffic………!

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

Tax code

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Are you paying?