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Crystal Specialist Finance secures £3.6m bridge to keep residential development on track

Tuesday 06 Dec 2016

A multi-property residential refurbishment project in Cheltenham has been saved from a costly delay after Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) secured a £3.6m bridge with Together in just ten working days.

The applicant’s relationship with the existing lender had become fractured meaning the build could not continue as no further funds would be released, but following valuation a deal was agreed which cleared the existing balance and secured two further payments of up to £550,000 to complete the work.

Exit strategy was clearly identified by sale of a cottage and barn for £9m, however this represents only part of the site which has a Gross Development Value of £12m.

“The situation that the developer found himself in is not uncommon, relationships with a lender can break down for a whole raft of reasons,” states Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF. “Many times no-one is specifically to blame, but at the same time the project needs to be completed.

“What must be remembered is that a good development with an experienced builder will find support through other routes, and in this case we worked with Together to secure a £3.6m bridge that ticks all the right boxes for the applicant based on rate, duration and exit.”

Ritchie Watson, director of development finance at Together added: “Bridging applications are all about speed, and thanks to a very well presented application from CSF, we had all the information we needed to make an immediate decision, applying our usual common-sense approach. We worked closely with the team at CSF to keep the development on track for its projected finish date and it’s a great example of how property developers can benefit from bridging finance when time is of the essence.”

Exclusive Precise Mortgages Right to Buy Offer Launched with Crystal Specialist Finance

Monday 21 Nov 2016

Precise Mortgages has teamed up with Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) to offer an exclusive Right to Buy product which features a valuation fee refund of up to £630.

This product is available to all local authority or housing association tenants in England who want to buy their house through the Right to Buy scheme. Brokers can find out more details by selecting Crystal Mortgages in the payment route on the Precise Mortgages portal or by contacting the CSF team direct.

Rates start from 5.39% for two year fixed and 5.59% for five year fixed, with 75% loan-to-value on properties of up to £500,000. The maximum discount is capped at £103,900 in London and £77,900 in other regions. Applications with some adverse credit will also be considered.

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF, said: “Affordability is nearly always a critical factor in the Right to Buy sector, so to offer an exclusive product at a good rate with a refund of the valuation fee is a very welcome addition to our comprehensive panel.”

Roger Morris, Director of Sales at Precise Mortgages, added: “To make a product with this feature available through CSF demonstrates our faith in their service delivery and market reach to brokers. It’s a great product, and one that will be welcomed by council and housing association tenants throughout England.”

To take advantage of this exclusive product offer, complete our interactive online Quick Enquiry Form with your client's details and we could be working on your case within minutes.

Crystal Specialist Finance prepares the perfect financial package for Chalk and Linen

Monday 07 Nov 2016

A small Midlands-based family business has been able to open new retail premises thanks to the lateral thinking of Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) and its portfolio of lending partners.

Jacki and Russ Ward, along with their son Dave Ward, set up their first Chalk and Linen shop nearly three years ago in Coleshill, and when the distributor of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ offered them the opportunity to purchase a second property in Atherstone to expand their business they had to move fast.

The Ward’s turned to their broker, Hugh Levine at Stephen Mayor IFA who contacted CSF given the specialist nature of the transaction in order to find a way forward.

The solution entailed remortgaging the client’s residential property with Pepper Home Loans to generate the deposit and then to obtain the commercial finance from NatWest’s Business & Commercial Banking team.

The CSF team then worked closely with Hugh and Andre Parcian, Broker Business Development Manager and Surbjit Kaur, Relationship Manager at Natwest in order to get the case successfully completed in a timely, efficient and affordable manner.

Hugh Levine said: “Throughout the whole process I’ve been extremely pleased with the speed and involvement of CSF. The company had a hands-on approach from the start and moved it through to completion very quickly, they were proactive, knowledgeable and engaged with the whole process.”

“All parties involved made the whole process much less stressful for us,” added Russ Ward. “We were so disappointed when we got knocked back initially, but CSF and NatWest support small businesses by making it easier. They really understood our vision and made it straightforward, exactly what we wanted as a customer.”

Crystal Specialist Finance surpasses half-a-billion issued terms in successive quarters

Tuesday 25 Oct 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) has surpassed the half-a-billion issued terms mark in successive quarters having agreed £503.1m in applications from July to September.

The latest figure, which is just shy of £509.7m worth of business issued from April to June, marks an 81% increase on the same period in 2015.

In addition, September saw a record number of completions for CSF, and the business was selected as preferred specialist distributor partner for the commercial and bridging markets for one of the UK’s leading independent mortgage and general insurance networks, HLPartnership (HLP).

The achievement comes despite the average loan application being 2% lower than the same quarter in 2015, which the business associates to the recent financial regulation changes and the EU Referendum result, all of which brought uncertainty to the market.

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF said: “There has been several well-documented legislative factors which has made this year, and indeed the last quarter, a very challenging trading environment.

“After the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD), Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and the EU Referendum there was a visible, albeit small drop-off in demand but each time this quickly recovered and is reflected in our excellent performance.

“A large swathe of credit must go to the team who focused on an educational marketing drive to ensure brokers understood the changes and how it affected them and their customers, and this coupled with our reputation for service and delivery is cementing our position as the market’s specialist distributor of choice.”

LendInvest completes “the perfect bridge” with Crystal Specialist Finance

Wednesday 28 Sep 2016

Online mortgage lender LendInvest has completed its first case with Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF).

The specialist distributor turned to LendInvest as its client needed funding quickly for an investment property, but would not be able to secure a buy-to-let loan due to the state of the property.

The house, in Christchurch, Dorset, had no working kitchen, bathroom or boiler, making it unsuitable for mainstream buy-to-let lenders. However, LendInvest was able to supply the bridging funding needed to purchase the property and carry out the necessary renovations.

The case fell within Tier 1 of LendInvest’s new tiered bridging loan product range. Tier 1 deals are more straightforward cases, and are available up to 75% loan-to-value. Interest rates begin at 0.65%. Tier 2 is for cases that are more complex, such as HMOs or non-standard construction properties, with rates beginning at 0.70%, while commercial cases have their own pricing tier.

Alex Kyriacou, Business Development Manager at LendInvest, said: “This was really the perfect bridge, and is a great example of the sort of case that our Tier 1 product was designed for. Deals that fall within this tier are available up to 75% loan-to-value, which is unusual in the current market.

“CSF’s case management team were terrific to work with - they went above and beyond to help us get this deal over the line. We look forward to working with CSF on more perfect cases in the future.”

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF, said: “LendInvest has an excellent reputation for competitive pricing and a speedy service, both of which were truly proven with this case. Our client needed the funds quickly, and by working closely together we were able to secure the best possible result for them.”

HLPartnership extends specialist support for Partner Advisers with Crystal Specialist Finance agreement

Tuesday 06 Sep 2016

One of the UK’s leading independent mortgage and general insurance networks, HLPartnership (HLP) has selected Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) as preferred specialist distributor partner for the commercial and bridging markets.

HLP, which was founded in 2001 and has over 400 Partner Advisers nationwide, selected CSF based on the company’s excellent service levels and application conversion rate with the decision giving its members access to expert advice and over 70 lenders, including exclusive product lines.

In addition, the award-winning companies’ marketing and new business development functions will work closely to inform the network of the latest news and products, as well as identify market opportunities and potential growth areas.

CSF, which operates across five core specialist divisions, also functions in the development funding, second charge loans and specialist mortgages sectors.

Chris Tanner, CEO of HLPartnership comments: “With the changes we are seeing across the market, especially from a regulatory perspective, it’s important that we continue to offer our Partner Advisers the right support and expertise when they need it for customers who need commercial finance and bridging.

“By adding CSF to our panel we will be providing more help and assistance in what is a specialist area of the lending market.”

“There is no doubt that the market has seen significant shifts over the course of the year,” adds Jo Breeden, managing director of CSF, “but the fact remains that we are still able to place the large majority of cases we receive with respected lenders at excellent rates.

“Many believe that a case that has been declined or is perceived as quite specialist is a lost cause, but nothing could be further from the truth and we have a track record which continues to speak for itself. We look forward immensely to partnering with HLP and their Partner Advisers to make a positive difference.”

Crystal Specialist Finance achieves half-a-billion issues terms in one quarter

Monday 18 Jul 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) issued terms on £509.7m worth of business from April to June, the first time the company has surpassed the half-a-billion figure in just one quarter.

In the same period new business applications were up 127% with completions rising by 52% across 27 different lenders, including both High Street and Challenger banks.

Deals highlights include a £2.6m re-bridge, a £1.6m Limited Company buy-to-let portfolio purchase, an £800,000 residential development loan, a one-day completion at the NACFB Commercial Finance Expo show in June and a £120,000 second-charge bridging loan sourced the day after the EU Referendum.

The remarkable quarter is 90% up on the £268.5m issued in the same period last year and means the business has issued terms on £910.7m in the first six months of 2016, a massive 48% increase on the first six months of 2015.

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF said: “At the turn of the year I challenged the team to beat 2015’s record of £1 billion, and to be touching on this figure after only six months is testament to every aspect of our business and our growing relationship with brokers nationwide.

“As we have constantly proven our ability to secure excellent products across all manner of deals – including declined cases, expats and specialist, as well as securing the best options on standard applications – our reputation has grown and more brokers than ever are sending in their cases.

“Moving forward we continue to invest in staff, which includes the recent appointment of Dan Morris as Key Account Manager, we have launched a new online broker portal and announced the latest series of national workshops. The landscape may have changed, but we will continue to thrive through excellence.”

Crystal Specialist Finance appoints Key Account Manager for Broker Market

Tuesday 12 Jul 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) has reaffirmed its commitment to brokers with the appointment of Dan Morris as Key Account Manager, and has announced new dates for its successful workshop events.

With a national remit, Dan’s role will focus solely on building relationships with brokers, using his experience and contacts to drive new enquiries, increase repeat business, educate the market on the latest lender panel products and offer individual analysis of market trends.

He joins from HSBC where he held the position of Mortgage and Protection Manager, prior to which he was Senior Personal Banker.

CSF has also confirmed the dates of its latest broker workshops: Manchester, Thursday 6th October with Together; Newcastle, Thursday 27th October with Pepper Homeloans; Leeds, Tuesday 8th November with Precise Mortgages and Glasgow, Thursday 17th November 2016 also with Precise Mortgages.

Jo Breeden, CSF Managing Director said: “Brokers are the crux of our business, and it is imperative that we have the people, products and systems in place to ensure we can complete as much commercial business as quickly and seamlessly as possible on their behalf.

“I repeat that our ability to review and progress every single application by a team of experienced finance professionals remains a core principle of our service. Add to this mix a dedicated, hugely experienced Key Account Manager in Dan and our service offering improves further still.”

To register your interest for any of the above workshops later in the year, please email your name, contact details and preferred workshop date to Laura Payne, Marketing Manager at marketing@crystalmortgages.com

Crystal Specialist Finance complete NACFB show deal in under 24 hours.

Tuesday 21 Jun 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) has completed one of its quickest deals on record, receiving the application at the NACFB Commercial Finance Expo 2016 and completing drawdown in under 24 hours.

During the trade show a broker approached the stand with the requirement to source an unsecured business loan to raise working capital in order to expand their client’s business, which the company picked up there-and-then with an attendee from panel lender ezBob.

CSF Managing Director, Jo Breeden said: “We always have a can-do attitude and look for ways to get deals funded for clients. Even if it’s not a traditional property deal we will try to help both our brokers and their clients, and just because we may be out of the office doesn’t mean we don’t go the extra mile.”

Travis Mascitelle, Head of Broker Relations at ezBob added: “We pride ourselves on our fast personal service, and our ability to get deals funded. Jo and the team know they can turn to us for their business loan cases and trust that we can deliver, it was great to get a deal done at the show and get the client the funds he needed so quickly.”

CSF rebranded in April 2015 to highlight five specialist core divisions: Bridging, Commercial, Development Funding, Second Charge Loans and Specialist Mortgages. The company operates across England, Scotland and Wales with access to over 70 lenders, including exclusive lines.

CSF recently announced a record first quarter, issuing terms on £401m worth of business from January to March 2016, a 96% increase on the same period last year.

Crystal Specialist Finance win two at Bridging and Commercial Awards 2016

Monday 13 Jun 2016

Tamworth-based Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) was the big winner at the prestigious Bridging and Commercial Awards 2016, winning both Best Commercial Broker of the Year and Best Development Broker of the Year.

The black tie event, which took place at the exclusive Hurlingham Club in Fulham on June 9th, holds great significance in the finance industry as the victors are chosen by panel by the leading names in the bridging, commercial, peer-to-peer, specialist banking and development sectors.

The company was also shortlisted in the Best Bridging Broker and Best Specialist Distributor categories.

Jo Breeden, CSF Managing Director, said: “This truly is a wonderful achievement, to be chosen as the winner in two categories at the core of our business is testament to an exceptional team and their total dedication to service.

“While we celebrate now we will not rest on our laurels, this year has started off very well and we must continue to push to be bigger and better than before, if we achieve this these awards will be the first of many.”

CSF rebranded in April 2015 to highlight five specialist core divisions: Bridging, Commercial, Development Funding, Second Charge Loans and Specialist Mortgages.

The company recently announced a record first quarter, issuing terms on £401m worth of business from January to March 2016, a 96% increase on the same period last year.

CSF operates across England, Scotland and Wales, the company has access to over 70 lenders, including exclusive lines.

Crystal Specialist Finance marks Q1 success with two key sales promotions

Monday 23 May 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) has promoted Neil Elvish to the senior position of National Sales Manager, with Moises Cruickshank advancing to Business Development Manager for London and the South East.

Neil, who joined the business in April 2015, will continue to cover South and West London, the M4 corridor to Bristol and the South Coast. He will also take a greater control in management and marketing functions, as well as manage the Business Development Executives at the firm’s Tamworth-based head office.

Moises, who started in November 2015, has had his remit extended to spend more time in North, East and central London as well as his previous areas of Kent and the North Home Counties.

Both men have been instrumental in the company’s recent growth, which culminated in a record first quarter with CSF issuing terms on £401m worth of business from January to March 2016, a huge 96% increase on the same period last year.

CSF Managing Director, Jo Breeden said: “The relationships that Neil and Moises forge with brokers – both new and existing – is second-to-none. They have the ability to clearly explain what can be perceived as a difficult market, knowing they have a back-office function and a product range to place literally every case.

“The ability for every single application to be reviewed, progressed and completed by a team of experienced finance professionals remains a core principle of our service – our people truly are our greatest asset and this level of dedication is encapsulated by Neil and Moises who deserve their recognition.”

Crystal Specialist Finance rebranded in April 2015 to highlight five specialist core divisions: Bridging, Commercial, Development Funding, Second Charge Loans and Specialist Mortgages. Operating across England, Scotland and Wales, the company has access to over 70 lenders, including exclusive lines.

Crystal Specialist Finance Continues sharp growth trajectory into 2016

Thursday 28 Apr 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance’s growth trajectory shows no signs of abating with the company issuing terms on £401m worth of business from January to March, a huge 96% increase on the same period last year.

During the same three months completions rose by 153% across over 30 different lenders and the business extended its strategically important panel partnership agreement with leading network, The Right Mortgage.

Deal highlights include the completion of its first regulated bridging loan with Together – £400k to help a customer purchase a new residential property before their current property was sold – and a £2.49m HMO portfolio refinance in Oxford.

In addition the total number of staff has grown from 18 to 29 in the 12 months to March 31st, including extra Business Development Managers in the important South East region and ever-growing Midlands to North West belt.

In February Crystal Specialist Finance reported a ‘a major milestone’ with issued terms on over £1bn worth of business in 2015, a figure Managing Director Jo Breeden readily expects to surpass this year.

He said: “The infrastructure we have put in place over the last 12 months is paying dividends – from our ever-growing lenders’ panel which naturally increases product availability, better industry presence across our five core divisions and key personnel and systems advancements across sales, marketing and IT.

“We will continue to grow at a fast, yet totally manageable rate so long as the customer and the betterment of service levels remain at the core of each and every decision. This will naturally increase new business applications and brand perception, and everyone associated with the business ultimately wins.”

Crystal Specialist Finance rebranded in April 2015 to highlight five specialist core divisions: Bridging, Commercial, Development Funding, Second Charge Loans and Specialist Mortgages. Operating across England, Scotland and Wales, the company has access to over 70 lenders, including exclusive lines.

The Right Mortgage extends panel partnership agreement with Crystal Specialist Finance

Friday 15 Apr 2016

The Right Mortgage (TRM) has extended its panel partnership agreement with Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF), with the companies aiming to further raise standards in the network market by focusing on quality over quantity.

The relationship, which commenced in February 2014, has seen the specialist distributor offer TRM’s members access to over 70 lenders’ products in the commercial mortgage and bridging loan sectors, as well as assistance with development finance, specialist buy-to-let and secured loans applications.

In addition, the companies will continue to build the number of TRM members, as well as identify potential niches and exclusive opportunities to grow products and services.

TRM was founded by former Personal Touch Financial Services’ Chairman, Martin Wilson alongside joint managing director, Adam Stretton. It aims to have 400 advisors by the end of 2016 comprising mortgage, protection and general insurance advisors.

Wilson said: “Since day one the relationship with CSF has been good, they have proven an asset to our business and our members who regularly praise their service.

“The aim of the business has always been focused on the quality of our members above the quantity, and to attract the best we have to work with the very best partners. The challenge is to continue raising standards still further so the complete offering creates the best network in the UK, and CSF are core to this vision.”

Jo Breeden, managing director of CSF, added: “We thoroughly enjoy working with TRM as their approach to compliance and service very much mirrors our own high ethics. We will continue to grow and expand our partnership on solid foundations which will benefit everyone, most importantly the members and their clients.”

Crystal Specialist Finance rebranded in April 2015 to highlight five specialist core divisions: Bridging, Commercial, Development Funding, Second Charge Loans and Specialist Mortgages. Operating across England, Scotland and Wales, the company has access to over 70 lenders, including exclusive lines.

Crystal Specialist Finance enters strategic partnership with Pepper Homeloans

Wednesday 23 Mar 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) has entered a strategic partnership with Pepper Homeloans, with the company added to the lender panel and all documentation immediately available via Packaging Portal to help streamline completion times.

Brokers can access Pepper Homeloans residential and buy-to-let mortgages on the Packaging Portal by selecting the product type, viewing the applicable product guide and completing the application form for submission to CSF’s dedicated applications team.

This means brokers still have direct access to semi-exclusive products from Pepper Homeloans, and other leading lenders, while removing the need to complete extra, time-consuming paperwork.

The mortgage lending division of Pepper (UK) Limited, Pepper Homeloans has carved out a niche by assisting customers who require a more personalised approach to borrowing.

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF, added: “Pepper Homeloans is an exciting, innovative lender who places the customer at the centre of its business. Like us they know service is everything, plus how the effective use of technology assists with the promotion of products and a quicker process to move from application to completion.”

Jeff Knight, Head of Marketing at Pepper Homeloans, said: “We are very excited to have developed a strategic relationship with CSF. Distribution is important for Pepper Homeloans and working with specialist distributors is vital. Crystal has a great track record and our product range adds some more flavour to their overall offering.”

Hat trick of commendations for Crystal at 2016 Business Moneyfacts Awards

Tuesday 22 Mar 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) is celebrating having achieved three Commendations at the 2016 Business Moneyfacts Awards, including Highly Commended in the Commercial Finance Specialist Distributor of the Year category.

At a lavish black tie event at the prestigious Lancaster London Hotel, the business was also Commended in the Commercial Mortgage Introducer of the Year and Development Finance Broker of the Year sectors.

Collecting three Commendations in total made CSF the most decorated distributor of the evening.

The 2016 Business Moneyfacts Awards are presented to those 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.

Lee Tillcock, Editor of Business Moneyfacts, said: “The 16th annual Business Moneyfacts Awards has recognised those providers and brokers involved in the business finance world who have made a firm commitment to excellence that will serve them well during the next year.”

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF added: “It is great to be recognised across three categories, and testament to the wonderful team at CSF who really do go the extra mile for every customer with every single application. We will keep growing and improving further, of that there is no doubt.”

Together completes first regulated bridging deal

Monday 15 Feb 2016

Together has completed its first regulated bridging deal with Crystal Specialist Finance, after recently launching a new product with a group of pilot packagers.

The first case, completed on 12th February, was a loan for £400K to help a customer purchase a new residential property before their current property was sold, and the funding was delivered in just 48 hours.

Together’s sales director Gary Bailey commented: “We’re constantly reviewing our products and looking at opportunities to expand our offering, so we’re thrilled that our new regulated bridging product is already delivering results. The bridging sector enjoyed strong growth last year and we hope that with this new proposition, we’ll be able to assist even more customers looking for fast and flexible finance solutions, through our network of intermediaries.

“The speed with which we were able to turn this around is thanks to the excellent packaging provided by Crystal Specialist Finance, who have worked in partnership with us on the pilot programme, and we look forward to further shared business.”

Jo Breedon, managing director of Crystal Specialist Finance added: “We were pleased to be selected by Together to take part in the pilot scheme for their new product and were delighted by the fast turnaround on this case, which is testament to our strong partnership and mutual commitment to delivering the best outcome for the customer.”

Find out more about Together at: www.togethermoney.com

Crystal Specialist Finance achieves one billion issued terms in 2015

Tuesday 09 Feb 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance has reached a major milestone having issued terms on over £1bn worth of business in 2015, marking a massive 62% increase on 2014’s previous record year.

From October to December the company issued terms of £316.2m – a full 55% up on the same period last year – bringing the total annual figure to £1,074m.

Further highlighting the rapid growth of the business, completions throughout the year rose by 51% while enquiries were up 54%.

Deal highlights included a £2.2m refinance for an offshore company to avoid repossession and a £470k short-term loan which took just 15 hours from enquiry to drawdown.

Crystal Specialist Finance rebranded in April to highlight its whole of market offering across five core divisions: Bridging, Commercial, Development Funding, Second Charge Loans and Specialist Mortgages.

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of Crystal Specialist Finance, said: “Our aim in 2015 was to beat last year’s issued terms figure by 10%, but given the numbers in the first two quarters this forecast was revamped and I challenged the team to hit £1bn. This huge achievement is here for all to see.

“The rebrand has been hugely successful, brokers now fully understand our ability to secure highly specialist deals as well as secure the best options on standard applications. The numbers are up across all business sectors, bar none.

“The challenge now is to complete more business and continue the sharp upwards trend. January’s figures have surpassed those from last year, and we will continue to invest in all the right areas to ensure our service proposition continues to deliver on every promise and we individually service every application.”

Crystal Specialist Finance operates in England, Scotland and Wales. The company has access to a complete range of commercial products from over 70 lenders, including exclusive lines.

Contact our team of financial experts today to see how we can help you convert more business: 01827 301 070 or email info@crystalmortgages.com

Crystal Specialist Finance launches Packaging Portal to streamline completion times

Thursday 04 Feb 2016

Crystal Specialist Finance (CSF) is giving brokers more control of commercial applications with the Packaging Portal, which allows direct access to a select panel of lenders' documentation to streamline completion times

Brokers can select the product type, view the selected lender’s product guide and complete the application forms for submission to CSF’s dedicated applications team. In turn this means brokers still have direct access to semi-exclusive products while removing the need to complete extra documents.

Jo Breeden, Managing Director of CSF, said: “At the launch of our eSource platform we stated that technology would become more accessible to brokers and give greater access to the mortgage, secured loan and bridging markets. The Packaging Portal is an extension of that philosophy, utilising online forms to remove repetition and streamline the process while still benefitting from our market expertise and unimpeachable service levels to bring more applications to completion, quicker.”