Green Finance Group’s ‘bread and butter’ is the hospitality sector – a vast range of businesses spanning individually owned pubs and fast-food joints, national franchises, all the way up to luxury hotel developers. For a broker the strength of this sector is a major advantage, says Daniel Green. “There’s definitely increased competition in the general hospitality industry today, so regular refurbs are a fact of life for these types of businesses if they want to prosper.” Green Finance also works in the areas of management rights, childcare and property development.
What has kept Green in Top 10 for the last four years is his brokerage’s wide variety of services, with a specialist broker sitting behind each. “We offer an end-to-end service for all client finance needs – commercial lending, equipment finance, residential lending, insurance, financial planning and even car buying,” Green explains. “We have a great pool of knowledge and can put an experienced broker in front of any client, as well as provide increased opportunities for quality in-house referral.”
Changing bank appetites
While still willing to lend, “banks are looking much more closely at the people behind the business – background, experience, qualifications”, Green says. Whereas in the past a brief synopsis of the business might have sufficed, banks now require a full business plan and projections that detail the owners’ industry experience and skill set. However, according to Green, that’s not a problem for his brokerage. “Banks are asking more questions and looking for more detail in finance applications, but I can’t say that’s changed the way we do things. Working with our clients to present high-quality, detailed submissions has been part of my normal process.”
Looking elsewhere for finance
Green Finance recently switched aggregators, joining Loan Market, which means the brokerage has access to a bigger lender panel. Green has looked at secondtier lenders and private funders to use instead of the majors and has found that “clients are receptive to non-bank lenders provided you can demonstrate the product meets their needs and is still competitive”.
Outlook for 2017/18
Green can’t see conditions changing considerably, with lenders continuing to ask tough questions of business borrowers and the brokers that represent them. For an established brokerage like Green Finance this could be an advantage, he believes. “I think tougher conditions tend to weed out part-time operators, and reputable commercial brokers with proven experience and industry knowledge simply become even more in demand.”