Crystal News

Crystal Specialist Finance targets main building growth sector with new development finance director

Tuesday 11 Apr 2017

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) has appointed Michael Fisher as Development Finance Director as the company aims to make greater inroads into the growing property development finance sector.

Driven by Parliament’s demand for new housing, Michael will be tasked with educating brokers on the advantages of development finance and highlight the opportunities available nationwide.

He will also work with lenders to increase the company’s portfolio of lenders, currently standing at 30, to ensure maximum flexibility for all clients.

Michael said: “Many people and businesses in the property sector are looking to enter the development finance market due to the reduction in profitability for buy-to-let landlords, a fact verified by a recent United Trust Bank survey which revealed that 69% of development finance brokers anticipate greater demand in the year ahead*.

“Investors are looking for better yields and property development provides an attractive opportunity. Backed by Parliament’s challenge and initiatives to the private sector to increase building to meet housing demand small and medium sized developers, both first-time and experienced, can see the huge potential.”

CSF was recently named Best Development Broker of the Year at the prestigious Bridging & Commercial Awards 2016.

Jo Breeden, CSF Managing Director, said: “Development finance has always been core to our business, and our own figures show a big upsurge in enquiries and applications since the turn of the year. With Michael in place we are in the best possible position to further grow our market share in this rapidly evolving segment.”

The standard approach to the specialist

Friday 24 Mar 2017

For a standard residential deal, a mortgage broker is comfortable and has a process – fact find, mortgage, protection. What happens when it comes to a specialist finance case?

It should be the same.

Many brokers see a commercial or bridging finance transaction and are unsure of the process as it’s outside of their comfort zone. Our message is that it shouldn’t be any different: understand what the client is looking to do, source the finance and arrange suitable protection.


Sourcing systems have simplified the residential mortgage sourcing process. Experience and knowledge is of course invaluable, but sourcing a residential mortgage is relatively straightforward.

In the specialist finance world, the products are much more bespoke and the sourcing is not as straightforward, however this is where the skills of a good specialist distributor – such as Crystal Specialist Finance – can fill that gap.


On a residential mortgage it’s almost second nature for the advisor to explore buildings and contents insurance, life insurance and income protection. Why should this be any different on a specialist finance case?

All properties require buildings insurance, so is therefore a must for any discussion. If the business is run by a sole trader then life and CIC are also essential to explore, and if the loan is for a company then there is a wealth of business protection products available, including Key Man, business life and relevant life.

Imagine if your client came back to you when you hadn’t discussed protection and they needed it?


A good solicitor experienced in specialist finance can make or break a transaction. Specialist finance needs a specialist approach as it normally is more complicated than standard conveyancing. Ensure that the solicitor the client instructs is adept at this type of transaction.


The best relationships are based on achieving the outcome the client wants, with a smooth and straightforward journey. By ensuring you have explored all of these avenues with your client means you have done the very best you can do for your clients and means you can relax knowing you have used your professional skills to complete a job well done.

Crystal Specialist Finance can work with you on all of the above – finance, protection, insurance and solicitors – to ensure the deal proceeds smoothly, completes and to achieve the outcome your client wants. Speak to our specialists today on 01827 301 070 to see how we can work together and get more business completed.

Crystal Specialist Finance excels at industry's leading awards night

Tuesday 21 Mar 2017

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) has excelled at the professional finance industry’s leading annual awards night, collecting two honours at the Business Moneyfacts Awards 2017.

The Tamworth-based company was named Winner of the highly-competitive Bridging Finance Introducer of the Year category, and was Highly Commended in the Commercial Finance Specialist Distributor of the Year classification.

The awards are presented to companies and brokers who have consistently offered the most competitive products, the best levels of service and shown the greatest innovation in the business and commercial finance world over the last 12 months.

Hosted by stand-up comedian Romesh Ranganathan at the prestigious Lancaster London Hotel, over 600 industry professionals from leading financial institutions and trade bodies attended the event.

Jo Breeden, CSF Managing Director, said: “Given the longstanding nature of the event, the calibre of the judges and the competition, the people in the room and the kudos that accompanies the Business Moneyfacts Awards, this has to go down as one of our greatest nights in our company history.

“Bridging finance is one of the fastest growing financial sectors of the market, so to be recognised as one of its leading exponents can only bring greater recognition of our expertise and more business through the door. The task now is to stay ahead of the competition and aim even higher in 2018.”

CSF smashed all company records in 2016, with issued terms up 81%, completed business by 35% and enquiries by 54% against 2015. The company issued annual terms totalling £1,946m against £1,074m in the corresponding period.

Jo Breeden, Managing Director at Crystal Specialist Finance Featured on 2017 Review Panel

Tuesday 14 Feb 2017

Our very own Managing Director Jo Breeden has been interviewed by mortgage and finance experts Online Mortgage Advisor in their analysis of the year ahead, quoted as the specialist finance expert for all things bridging and commercial.

Online Mortgage Advisor have pulled together peers, experts and market leaders from a wide range of industries to discuss and comment on how the future lies for the housing and finance market, covering hot topics such as Brexit, the buy-to-let tax and regulatory reforms, house prices, lending policy and even the future role of Robo-Advice.

Click here to view the article What does 2017 look like in full and read Jo's comments!

Crystal Specialist Finance nears two billion issued terms in record 2016

Thursday 02 Feb 2017

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) has smashed all company records in 2016, with issued terms up 81%, completed business by 35% and enquiries by 54% against 2015.

From October to December, the business had its most successful quarter ever with issued terms reaching £532.2m, giving an annual total of £1,946m against £1,074m in the corresponding period.

In addition the average completed application value rose by 21% plus the business issued terms with 70 lenders and completed deals with 42, including both high street and challenger banks.

Case highlights include securing a £3.6m bridging loan with Together in just ten working days, a £590k regulated loan with Borro in three days and ‘the perfect bridge’ with LendInvest to ensure continued work on an investment property which was on the verge of stalling.

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF said: “In 2015 I challenged the team to hit £1bn in terms issued, which they duly did, so to end 2016 just short of £2bn is nothing short of exceptional. To compound this achievement with huge increases in completions and the average application value paints a very positive picture.

“When you consider the uncertainty surrounding the finance market in 2016 with the well publicised regulation changes and the EU Referendum result, we have not only defied the odds but done so with the correct levels of personal and IT infrastructure investment to ensure solid foundations moving forward.

“I have no doubt that 2017 will continue to be challenging, but we enter the year having established ourselves as one of the biggest specialist distributors in the UK and we will continue to expand our boundaries based on the excellent service for which we are becoming synonymous.”

SimplyBiz Mortgages appoints Crystal Specialist Finance to new ancillary panel

Monday 23 Jan 2017

Tamworth-based Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) has been appointed to the new ancillary panel of one of the UK’s largest mortgage clubs, SimplyBiz Mortgages.

Following a comprehensive three-month research and tender process, CSF will advise members on applications across its five specialist core divisions: Bridging, Commercial, Development Funding, Second Charge Loans and Specialist Mortgages.

Having grown year-on-year since its inception in 2004, SimplyBiz Mortgages supports over 3,400 mortgage intermediaries across the UK, giving easy access to compliance and technical support as well as a wide variety of products all designed to further develop their business potential.

The review was undertaken following the large number of legislative changes in the financial industry last year, including the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT), to ensure the best levels of advice and compliance from partners for its members.

Martin Reynolds, CEO of SimplyBiz Mortgages, commented: “Following a three-month due diligence process we have created a new panel that will offer members both choice and access to a wealth of knowledge, and Crystal Specialist Finance has proved it can deliver on all fronts.

“Commercial mortgages, and the specialist finance market as a whole, are becoming more complex and using all the resources available to you as an adviser is essential. CSF will be an excellent addition to our ancillary panel and will readily assist our members in securing more business.”

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF, added: “SimplyBiz Mortgages easily stands as one of the leading mortgage clubs in the UK, with their commitment to service and compliance always driving the business direction.

“To be selected after a very thorough tender process shows that CSF is operating on a comparable level, and we will also continually drive to improve so the service we deliver, both on the phone and online, is second-to-none.”

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