Gareth Pritchard
Gareth Pritchard
Head of Invoice Finance
Broker Interview

Broker interview: Jimmy Chan, Commercial Finance Partnership

September 29, 2021 | 6 minutes

We caught up with commercial finance broker Jimmy Chan about the challenges facing businesses this quarter, the finance products he believes will provide the best support, and his love of Manchester United.

Tell me a bit about who you are, your business and your background

I’m based in Manchester working with Commercial Finance Partnership.

Commercial Finance Partnership were formed in January 2019, they have offices in Doncaster and Ilkley. We provide all types of commercial finance to business in the UK. We have a great little team with over 150 years combined finance experience. There are over 170 lenders we have access to; our aim is to support as many businesses as we can.

What do you enjoy most about being a commercial finance broker?

I enjoy understanding how different businesses operate and building a connection with the client. Nothing feels better than when you can have a positive impact on a client’s business.

What are your views on the Government’s Covid support schemes and where do you see the business finance landscape moving in the future?

The Government support schemes were a great idea to help businesses through the pandemic, but I felt the Bounce Back Loan scheme (BBLs) was too easily accessible and could lead to a lot of bad debt for the banks.

The Recovery Loan scheme (RLs) has been a strange one because on paper it seems like a great facility to bounce back out of the pandemic, but getting access to it has been tough. I find that if a business has had access to the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan scheme (CBILs), it’s unlikely the lender will consider them.

What are the biggest challenges you see for business owners today and what advice would you offer them in regards to finance?

The biggest challenge for businesses will be managing their cash flow. Some will have taken a lot of debt, and some will be recovering from the pandemic. My advice would be to assess all your options before making any rash decisions.

There are plenty of facilities out there to support businesses. If you’ve had some finance applications turned down it’s not the end of the world. I would recommend speaking to a reputable commercial finance broker to understand your situation and hopefully they can support you moving forward.

What developments do you anticipate in the business finance market in the coming months and what products will be the most important?

I hope there will be more lenders for the RLs scheme in the coming months as there are still many waiting to be accredited. I expect more lenders to expand their range of facilities in the next 6-12 months as the RLs scheme ends.

Cash flow products such as unsecured loans and invoice finance will be vital for businesses moving forward. I can see more business utilising the products to grow or to operate more efficiently.

What are the most important characteristics you look for in an invoice finance provider? Why would you recommend it over other forms of finance?

The most important characteristics are how flexible their facility is and how they perform on the customer service side. The last thing you want is to have a facility that doesn’t work for the business.

Invoice financing offers something different to traditional lending. I would recommend exploring the option if your business could benefit from extra cash flow.

What do you like about Satago?

The facility is very flexible with quick turnaround times. I have enjoyed working with James Chetwood at Satago, you can always give him a call to answer any queries.

When you’re not helping businesses out with their finance, how do you like to spend your free time?

I love playing football and hope to keep playing until my body refuses to. I am a through and through Manchester United supporter, I look forward to Ronaldo’s return this season.

Traveling around the world to experience the different cultures is certainly something I miss. It’s nice to finally see family and friends without having to limit the number of people.

And, finally, what are you most enjoying being able to do now we are out of lockdown and restrictions are lifted?

I would love to travel to other countries without having to worry about quarantining or worry about covid.

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