City Financial introduced a service to advise business on their borrowing requirements in 2013, when Hamish Malcolm joined the team, after 27 years in banking.
During that time, approvals for more than £12m have been achieved – in many cases for companies who has previously been unsuccessful with their first attempt in approaching a bank. We operate a totally impartial ‘whole of market’ approach, and have close links with a network of lenders across the UK who have proven to us that they have the experience and ability to move quickly when the situation demands it.
A USP, certainly in the Highlands, is our ability to provide commercial lending advice, under the same roof as residential mortgages, life/keyman protection and also pension advice for the both the business owners and also for the company as a whole.
Our successes have included business requiring finance in renewables, property development and portfolio borrowing, manufacturing companies, tourism & leisure, food and drink & several high growth start ups. While most of our clients are in the UK, we have completed , often complex, transactions for ex pats in the USA and Canada, hence we are not restricted to 9-5 hours.
We have excellent working relationships with many of the CAs, Solicitors, Valuers and business advisers in the Highlands and indeed take pride in the fact that so many respected professionals will call us in to advise their clients when facing a banking/lending challenge.
Our approach is to carefully analyse the deal at hand and draw up a short list of suitable lenders, as opposed to routing everything through one bank, or to send details on a case out to every lender we have access to. We are very conscious of the effect on a client’s credit score by doing multiple searches and can work with lenders to mitigate against this.
As well as mainstream lenders, we have taken an active role in the North to promote the emerging range of alternative lenders now in the market and have hosted events and spoken at seminars with Squareknot Crowdfunding platform, Working Capital Partners, Close Brothers, Aldermore, Shawbrook among others. Other major players such as the Institute of Directors, Harper MacLeod Solicitors, Wright Johnston MacKenzie, Stronachs and EY Accountants have asked us to co-present with them to provide input to the current position of how SMEs can increase their chance of obtaining funding.
We are active members of several Chambers of Commerce in the North of Scotland and are founder members of the new BNI chapter in Inverness, launching in June 2015.