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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Opinion > HTB

Working together: specialist banks and brokers

Jon Maycock, managing director of asset finance at Hampshire Triust Bank | 16:58 Wednesday 27th June 2018

The relationship between specialist banks and brokers is fundamental in providing SMEs with access to finance.

By working in partnership with a network of introducers across the country, together we provide businesses with a wider range of financing options and choice, far beyond that which can be offered by the high street banks. With the first half of the year drawing to a close, it seems like an opportune time to reflect on the first six months of 2018 and the importance of specialist banks retaining their broker focus as we move into H2.

With Brexit looming on the horizon, we recognise that ongoing economic uncertainty is creating a challenging environment for brokers and the SMEs they support. However, there are positive signs of growth and introducers have a vital role to play in helping support smaller businesses in making the most of opportunities as they arise.

According to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the new van market is holding steady with 2.4% growth, meaning it remains at a historically high level. This is encouraging news, however, in order to drive long-term growth, we need to work together to ensure we are offering SMEs the right finance options to meet their needs and ensure they are able to invest in their fleets and the other assets, whether that be IT equipment or plant and machinery.

The importance of brokers in the specialist banking model cannot be overestimated. Brokers provide SMEs with access to specialist lenders, such as Hampshire Trust Bank. In turn, we have a responsibility to continue to sharpen our broker focus and do everything we can to support the introducer sector.

So, what are we doing and why? Well, first and foremost, we want to make it easier for brokers to do business with us. We launched our web portal less than 12 months ago and are continually working to enhance its functionality, recently introducing automatic document generation, saving time and improving accuracy. We have more enhancements in the pipeline and are constantly listening to feedback so we can refine and improve our offering.

Not only have we invested heavily in our digital proposition, we also invest in our people. We are expanding our regional business development team and all of our employees will be taking part in asset finance foundation training over the next month or so.

This investment in our people means brokers have access to specialists that truly understand the market. As a result, credit decisions at Hampshire Trust Bank are now being made in less than four hours and the team is consistently delivering same-day pay outs. This investment in expertise means we have expanded our risk appetite across a range of diverse assets and are actively engaging with brokers in specialist sectors of the market, providing finance to SMEs of all shapes, sizes and sectors.

With SMEs driving the engine of the UK economy, specialist banks and brokers have a vital role to play in providing the finance these businesses need to thrive and grow. We will continue to work together with our broker partners to do everything we can to help boost British business, now and in the future.

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