‘When working on a deal for my clients, I always maintain a can-do attitude’


Paul Ratcliffe, Regional Sales Manager, MFS

In our latest Five Minute Interview, Tony Sanchez speaks to Paul Ratcliffe, Regional Sales Manager at MFS.

Market Financial Solutions is an award winning independent bridging finance provider that deals with a range of bespoke bridging solutions that are fast and flexible for all their intermediaries and clients.

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

Being able to help property investors overcome real world financial issues. Where high street lenders tighten their criteria, we’re able to provide capital to those set back by a stagnant economy that’s hit everyone.

And in dealing with financial complications, my days are kept plenty interesting.

Providing solutions to these kinds of issues keeps me focused and stimulated. My work is never boring.

I get a real sense of satisfaction in assessing a borrower’s initial details, structuring a deal, and eventually getting funding issued.

All the while overcoming the challenges of the wider market.

What keeps you focused?

With how rapidly the market moves, I need to remain focused just to keep up with the latest developments.

Also, as the specialist finance industry gains more recognition, I must do what I can to stay one step ahead of our competitors.

Everyone wants a piece of the growing bridging pie, but I know that by focusing on the essentials, our clients will receive the best service possible.

That is what will secure recognition over the long-term, and that is what keeps me focused.

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

In our day-to-day, we’re likely to face multiple complications and unexpected road bumps.

As such, it’s important for me to know that my team and colleagues can all speak honestly about any situation put in front of us.

Any problems we face can only truly be resolved through open communication.

For me, I look for honesty, integrity, and camaraderie in the people I work with.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I consider myself an optimist – my glass is always half full. In all honesty, I don’t think I could do my job if I was a pessimist!

When working on a deal for my clients, I always maintain a can-do attitude.

We always look for reasons to lend to our borrowers, while doing what we can to mitigate any downsides.

There’s a reason our brokers and borrowers keep on coming back to us. We’re good at what we do – regardless of how bleak the economy may be.

What did you want to be as a child?

I wanted to be an RAF pilot but unfortunately, my grasp of physics was not as good as my actual flying ability!

I have however spent several hours in the cockpit of a plane and helicopter over the years. So even though my dreams of being a jet pilot didn’t materialise, I have experienced the thrill of flying.

I think it’s important to have a dream when you are younger, but also to appreciate the satisfaction of doing your best at wherever your career takes you.

If you can do this, you’ll feel fulfilled no matter what your job title may be.

Through hard work, and a passion for helping people, I’ve made being a regional sales manager my dream job!

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

I think the ongoing cost-of-living crisis will make property investors hang back from the market for a while.

Confidence among buyers has taken a hit. It’ll probably be a while until it’s fully restored. The prospect of continuing base rate hikes may add to the uncertainty.

Also, material costs for the development of new housing stock still haven’t reduced to pre-pandemic levels.

This is keeping existing property prices high at the moment. But, should we see development plans rebound, there may be a slight tilt on new build prices.

Valuers will need to take this into account when completing land values and end GDV values.

This may impact lenders as confidence could take another hit moving forward.

Who or what makes you laugh?

I love the classics like Only Fools and Horses and Fawlty Towers!

I wish we’d have more of these types of comedies on TV these days. The modern stuff just doesn’t make me belly laugh like my old favourites did.

Oh well, maybe I’m just letting nostalgia get the better of me!

Do you dread Monday mornings?

No, not in the slightest. Every week brings a new challenge and that’s the best thing about supporting borrowers. Every day is different.

Monday is the start of a new chapter, one that should be embraced for the opportunity it can bring.

When Friday rolls around, you’ll want to be able to look back and take pride in what you have achieved over the week. This all starts with Monday morning.

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

I feel I’m a good listener but I think everyone, myself included, could listen just that little bit more. Especially when it comes to other people’s issues and problems.

On a daily basis, we’re all swamped with constantly flowing news and information. Amidst all the noise, it can be easy to lose track of what’s important.

Taking the time to truly understand what my colleagues and clients need is something I want to prioritise.

With whom would you most like to have dinner?

Apart from my wife Fay, it would have to be James Martin (TV Chef).

James is of a similar age to myself and on top of his ability to cook, he likes to drive nice cars and ride motorbikes.

All of which, I also thoroughly enjoy. I think the conversation would flow really well.

It would be even better if James could whip up something for Fay and I!