Here at Reto Finance we’ve been busy in the first quarter of 2022 and have carried on where we left off 2021. Our aim has always been to try and do things differently to other lenders and the challenge is balancing between actively growing the business in a sensible way, whilst simultaneously looking to be creative in our product offering and helping customers where sometimes others can’t.
We’ve hit the ground running and now we can reflect on the first three months of the year, it’s clear that the demand for borrowing in the Islands is as strong as it has ever been. Whether that’s consumers, SME’s or Property Investors – in both Jersey and Guernsey, we’ve supported a range of clients and are actively looking to continue doing so. On the back of our strongest quarter to date and our best ever month in March, we wanted to share some of the things we’ve been involved in and give a flavour of what we can offer.
With products (both secured and unsecured) ranging in size from £1,000 to £250,000 – we’ve assisted a host of clients with varying degrees of financial support. Our ability to make credit decisions in house and to act quickly has meant that we have provided a significant amount of funding directly to consumers across the Islands to date in 2022.
Whether it be a debt consolidation loan, a home improvement loan, or an equity release for a new venture – we’ve done it all.
One example is a client who was in the middle of a house renovation project where the budget had over-run. This client had been provided with lots of smaller loans from local lenders at varying rates of interest and on the basis that their requirements were for longer term funding. We took time to sit with our client, discuss what had gone before, work out the final budget for the renovation and also assisted in shaping their ongoing mortgage requirements. A result of these conversations meant that we were able to provide a short-term funding solution, clear all existing loans which saved significant money each month. The exit route was a re-mortgage solution and the client has now finished the house, saved themselves £1,000’s in the process, and are now debt free save for their new mortgage.
Understanding not only the beginning of a process but also the middle and final outcome is important. We have a wealth of knowledge in our team which spans mortgages, property development, business funding and personal lending which means we are well placed to support you on your journey, whatever it may be. We can provide a tailored solution and will work with you to establish what is right for you – not what is the quickest thing to get approved.
Corporate & SME Lending:
Now that the Islands are relaxing their Covid restrictions and the economy starts to pick up, we’ve seen some interesting opportunities for clients wishing to accelerate growth plans – this is true for both existing businesses who have found new ways of working as well as new businesses looking to start from scratch.
Our business funding so far in 2022 has covered a wide range of things including financing of new equipment (cars, vans, kitchen equipment, IT hardware, Business premises acquisitions), business start-up funding and reimbursing funds spent on previous investments. We understand business finance and whilst a track record and proven history of success is important (and in terms of high street banking, is a pre-requisite and non-negotiable), we prefer to work on the basis that each story is different and that a one size fits all approach is prohibitive.
We’ve provided funding to some specialist sector businesses which fall outside of the traditional sectors and it is in areas like these that our ability to take a bespoke approach to each request really sets us apart.
If you’re thinking of growing your business or are looking to start something new, speak to us first. We will be able to support you through the process and give you an idea of what types of funding are available. Often people think they only have one option but with a versatile business and ability to look at things without shoe horning them into a certain ‘product’ we can often help where others can’t.
Real Estate and Development Finance:
We continue to grow our Real Estate offering in both Jersey and Guernsey. To date we’ve committed in excess of £15m of funding across the Islands to support local property developers building much needed residential dwellings on both Jersey and Guernsey.
Our Jersey development finance product, whilst still in its relative infancy, has been popular with our clients and we have funded some schemes we’re really excited about. Our schemes funded to date range from 2 x units up to 18 x units. With completions due from August 2022 through to March 2024 – we are proud to be supporting our developers and enabling a constant stream of housing stock in the Island which is much needed.
In 2022 we have written our first Development Finance deal in Guernsey which is a landmark moment for us. Working with an established developer to acquire an existing mixed-use dwelling and build out to create much needed residential dwellings in the heart of St Peter Port. We were able to provide a fully funded solution and worked closely with the developer and their professional team to shape the deal into the most simple working solution which suited all parties. From initial consultation to acquisition the loan was completed within two weeks which allowed certainty for the borrower and ensured they were able to commit to the acquisition immediately.
We also have more traditional bridging loan solutions, often for the acquisition of potential sites where there is no planning consent. In these examples we are happy to fund pre-planning acquisitions and at the same time agree a development finance package going forward and subject to plans being passed. This gives our clients the certainty of them being able to manage a scheme from start to finish and will give them the detail and costings they require to properly appraise a scheme at the outset. We work with various professionals across the industry including Valuers, Monitoring Surveyors and Lawyers who are all well placed to add value to any potential scheme and work towards delivering simple lending solutions in a timely fashion.
As many people start to become more aware of car finance, the variables involved in acquiring a car and that they can in fact have control of their finance package – we are starting to see more motor and vehicle finance requests than ever before.
Whether you’re buying from a garage or via a private sale, and whether you’re buying a new sports car or a small van for work (or perhaps something in between), we are happy to give you guidance in terms of what you can do, what the true valuation for your new car is, what the value of your part-exchange is, and give you details of how the different Motor Finance products work so you can make an informed choice. We have relationships with local car dealers and are happy to work with the garages or directly with our clients. If you want to take back control of your Motor Finance arrangements, you’d be well placed speaking with us first.
In Summary, we’re really pleased with how 2022 has started. Not only have we implemented new products (see Guernsey Real Estate above) but we’ve also worked with lots of repeat clients which to us is important because it shows the relationships we’ve built are valued by our clients as well as by us.
We think what sets us apart is our ability to be flexible, to look at the short, medium and long term and to be able to decipher information, understand forward plans and to work collaboratively without restrictions of ‘policy and computer says no’. The days of lenders acting like robots have long gone and ability to think outside of our box is crucial. As a relatively new business with an entrepreneurial spirit, we embrace the new ways of working and are here for any clients who want us to support them on their journey and are looking for longer term, relationship based support from a local business who understand the Islands and their differing requirements.
No two people are the same and we will make sure we don’t treat you like you are – but that we will work with you as individuals and come on the journey with you!