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Friday, September 21, 2018

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Opinion > VATBRIDGE

Specialist banking: partnerships

Vincent Bull, managing director at VATBRIDGE | 16:57 Wednesday 22nd August 2018

How many times have you discussed with colleagues the high street banks’ inability to pull a deal together quickly and then deliver? Many times, I am guessing.

The growth of the specialist banking sector is bringing with it changing attitudes to deal making. The word ‘partnership’ is regularly used when referring to the parties in a transaction, rather than viewing each other as threats. We all know transparency is key and helps enormously when trying to put a deal to bed. We understand we have to be aware of GDPR, but a sensible and open attitude can pay dividends and bring with it rewards for everyone in the chain. The client suffers if someone is not communicating and they, ultimately, pay our salaries. They expect us to all work together and adopt a modern approach to lending.

Specialist banks, in my experience, understand the need for change and tend to be staffed by open-minded individuals looking to deliver a better experience to their clients. While they may work to basic lending criteria, there is a desire to refer to it rather than follow it to the last letter. The result? More informed, commercial decisions based on a common-sense approach to ensure a deal is delivered that works for all parties.

Recent experience of working with one of these banks on a transaction was a breath of fresh air. Sure, all the boxes were ticked in respect of security requirements and due diligence, but there was an acknowledgement from outset that we were all working towards a common goal and that nobody should dictate to anybody else in the chain. This resulted in the transaction being completed on time and based upon terms that the client accepted as fair and commercial.

So, if you are one of the high street banks and think your name alone will bring you business, you may have to think again. The sector is changing rapidly and the specialist banks and lenders are racing ahead, embracing new technology and ideas and working in partnership with niche funders to deliver funding solutions that clients are looking for. It’s not all about who can put money out the door at the lowest rates, as we all know.

 

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