Development Finance Today sat down with Lending Director Scott Marshall to discuss all things Roma Finance


March 2015
  • Answer: It would be great to be able to fly. When you’re running a business it’s important to spendsome time away from day to day transactions on the ground, so the ability to fly would allow metake a view of the business from a more strategic level, more often. Also it would come in handy to get form one broker meeting or borrower site visit to the next!
  • Question: What is more important, repeat business or new business? Why?
    Answer: As with any business it’s vital to do both, and give the same excellent service to both too! When youwork with a new broker or borrower, it’s important to do a good job and progress the case quickly andprofessionally. If there are further opportunities to work together then your past performance couldget you the next case, and so on. In an ever changing and growing market, like bridging finance is at the moment, then it’s also important to meet new potential business partners as they will fuel your future growth. Working with existing borrowers and brokers means that the way they work is already a known quantity so can make it a little more streamline. But at Roma Finance we give the same expertise to every case.
  • Question: What is more important in bridging – rate or service? Why?
    Answer: You could also say that in many cases it’s about speed as much as it is about rate and service. Often as bridging lenders we are asked to act very fast, often in a matter of days or even hours! So having the experience to quickly grasp the important factors in the case are key. There’s been a lot of discussion in the industry about whether the headline rates advertised are the rates borrowers end up paying. And I can see why. After all, it’s not just about rate, other factors such as service, security, the exit route and borrower profile come in to play. It’s about underwriting each case individually to assess its viability.
  • Question: What one thing would you change about the bridging industry?
    Answer: That’s a good question. The sector has come a long way since I first started working in itnearly 12 years ago. There are now some excellent companies operating in the space, including brokers, lenders, media businesses, valuers and solicitors, and there are some very talented &charismatic individuals. It is a great industry to work in and you never stop learn new things. WouldI change anything? No, it’s a great industry to work in.
  • Question: To what extent does the bridging market need to consolidate?
    Answer: I don’t think it will need to consolidate as such, the market is growing and borrowers want to do more things with finance to develop property and land. Lenders are responding and bridging is now used for many more purposes than ever before, so I think we’ll see steady growth across the board forthe medium term, particularly as the economic outlook is good and there is still a high demand for rental property.
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