10 Jul 2018

Five things to better support the property industry

We’re proud that in addition to our winning streak at Business Moneyfacts and Bridging and Commercial, Octopus was recently shortlisted for EG Lender of the Year – following a record breaking period.

In the last two years we’ve completed over £1.3bn of lending across over 2,300 loans - a 12% increase from the previous years.

Our aim is to become a multi-billion pound lender that’s recognised for speed and service. We’re getting there by better supporting the property industry, and here are 5 things we’ve done on our journey so far:

#1 launched new innovative products

We believe that the industry needed a shake-up, which is why we’ve made ground breaking customer-focused innovations – to better support brokers and their clients. These include:

- The UK’s first pre-approved commercial auction finance loan in conjunction with leading auctioneer Acuitus. Features include no valuation, streamlined legal process, fixed fees and costs.

- A commercial term product which is interest only and requires only 100% interest cover ratio. 

- A 25-year buy-to-let mortgage to open the market to underserved borrowers, including expats, portfolio landlords and overseas buyers.

- A development-light product to support smaller developers who have limited access to high street funding.

#2 grown our lending regionally

Feedback from the recent NACFB Expo, as well as from our brokers, is that borrowers feel underserved when obtaining funding outside of London, which is why we’ve made changes.

- Grown our regional team by 20% to support the growing demand for specialist lending outside of London and the Home Counties. This includes Carl Graham in Manchester, who is ensuring we’re providing national coverage, and local support.

- As the UK housing market changes we expect more business to be written in the North of England, as well as other regions, and as a result we’re continuing to strengthen our offering in lending capabilities and staff – watch this space!

#3 provided borrowers with confidence

Borrowers have traditionally experienced a lack of certainty from lenders. We’re committed to doing what we say we will, and delivering for our clients. 

- Funded the acquisition of London’s biggest ever permitted development rights scheme - £31.3m/268 units at the former Sky TV offices in Brentford. Completed the loan in under two weeks enabling the borrower to win a competitive bidding process.

- Rescued a £28.8m land purchase after the senior lender reduced their offer at the last minute. We moved from providing a £3.3m mezzanine loan to a £17.0m senior facility in two working days.

- Salvaged the £12.0m acquisition of a Holiday Inn hotel when the high street bank pulled out at completion due to a change in corporate structure. Our loan completed in three working days.

- Completed a £14.1m acquisition loan on a Fitzroy Square office building in four working days after a high street bank failed to meet the completion deadline.

- Structured a £25.4m development facility to include an acquisition bridge, VAT bridge and revolving loan, enabling delayed equity-raise to be completed.

#4 recruited the best

We’ve built a company which is attracting some of the industry’s brightest talent, and we’ll continue to make sure we build the environment and culture where people love coming to work.

- Darius Shekarrizi joined as Business Development Manager (BDM) for South East.

- Charlie Stoop joined from the investment side of Octopus Group as a BDM for London.

- Daniel Murray promoted to Head of London Sales.

- Mert Zabci joined as a Commercial Investment Manager, previously an originator in the Real Estate Finance Private Equity Team at RBS.

- Matthew Pritchard appointed as Head of Structuring to attract new funding, in particular debt financing. Matthew joined from Man Global Private Markets where he spent six years as a Portfolio Manager and head of the European real estate debt investment team.

#5 lent across multiple sectors

We’re not a bank, but we have a broad range of products and can deploy discretionary capital at speed, covering the development, commercial and residential sectors.

- Funded loans across multiple sectors including car parks, development sites, funeral parlours, garden centres, ground rents, healthcare, hotels, industrial, leisure, office, petrol stations, PRS, retail, serviced apartments, student accommodation and wharfs.


Think we could help with something?

Contact us on 0800 294 6850 and one of our team will happily chat.