We recently spoke with Colin Chastey, one of our Regional Directors for Asset Finance, to discuss his views on how our tailored approach to funding and working in partnership with brokers is helping business owners on their post-pandemic recovery journey.
Why do you think business owners and brokers have chosen us as their funding partner of choice?
To me it’s all about service, service and service.
Throughout COVID-19 there has been a real ‘One team’ effort from everyone at Ultimate Finance. From supporting our clients with payment holidays during lockdown, to underwriting and paying out deals within the same timescales as we would have done pre-Covid. There is a real passion and commitment from everyone to maintain these standards, and we have improved our internal and external communications to ensure introducers and clients are fully updated at every step of the way.
This is against a backdrop of stories where businesses are facing restricted options and having to wait much longer to get access to the funds, or the equipment, they need to keep their business moving.
In fact, I have recently been working on a deal from a broker where the client needed a new concrete mixer lorry within a matter of days and we were able to deliver for them, despite the extremely tight deadlines. Not only has this client now been able to meet their ambitions – this deal has strengthened my relationship with one of my brokers. To me, service and speed are critical and it is always nice to receive feedback and see those key elements in action.
“Ultimate Finance is without doubt one of my first choice of lenders. From start to finish, they are quick, professional, and easy to work with. Colin always answers the phone and is always more than happy to help.
Last week I had a situation whereby a good customer of mine unfortunately had the funding pulled at the last minute by another lender, and I had 48 hours to have the finance agreed, signed, and paid before the vehicle was sold to another buyer. I called Colin, explained the situation and he had the facility approved the same day, and documents sent by 5pm. Without Ultimate Finance’s quick response, I would have lost the deal and hindered my relationship with the customer. The deal was paid the next day, and everyone was happy!”
Alice Thompson – First Business Finance (UK) Ltd
How has technology changed the way we have done business since the first lockdown?
The last year and the direct effects of the pandemic have emphasised the importance of using technology to enable our teams to provide an easier, safer, and faster service – never more relevant than with the lack of face-to-face meetings. For example, we’ve introduced e-signing of documents which has allowed us to increase the speed of service and has been well received by introducers and clients alike. We have seen cases where documents have been issued, signed and returned to us within the hour. This, in addition to ID verification and Open Banking in partnership with Nivo, also helps us further protect prospective and existing clients from fraud.
We already had a portal for our Asset Finance and Bridging Finance brokers but, with everything shifting to online within a matter of days, it meant we were well prepared and in a position to continue to support without any disruption. If anything, COVID-19 allowed brokers to really feel the benefits of what technology can bring to business funding.
How can Asset Finance help businesses keep moving?
Asset Finance can help in many ways: it can be used to acquire new equipment or vehicles through hire purchase or leasing, or it can assist with accessing working capital by refinancing existing assets. For instance, we recently helped a plant hire business raise funds to bring in more stock by utilising their existing plant which was unencumbered.
At Ultimate Finance we tailor each funding facility and look at a business’ story, not just their credit file. Each deal is assessed individually and on its own merits. We will understand the background, get to know the business and how we can support its ambitions, which allows us to structure a deal that works for them.
To provide the right Asset Finance facility there are several factors we take into account; for example; serviceability – a good payment record of existing agreements is important; The asset itself needs to be identifiable, moveable and have a re-sale value – we will even look at older assets if there is a future re-sale value.
Because Asset Finance can be used for so many purposes, it is a fast and reliable funding option for many of our clients. If you’d like to find out more about our Asset Finance solutions, simply get in touch today.