Believe it or not I was a bit of a Bible-basher in my day – altar boy at two churches, boys brigade member, bell ringer and even represented my school on national radio in a quiz about the Old Testament.
Being from a very rough council estate, the church was a bit of escapism for me (along with my Marvel comics), and along the way it taught me values that helped differentiate me from many of my friends who ended up on a different career path at Her Majesty’s pleasure. One of these values is known as the Golden Rule and comes from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Reward operates in the alternative finance (alt-fi) market that is thriving due to the length of time it takes mainstream Banks to advance money and their lack of desire to help SMEs with short term funding and overdrafts. There are now many lenders operating in the alt-fi market, some of who clearly don’t live by the Golden Rule and take advantage of the fact that lending for business purposes is unregulated.
Hidden fees, default interest charged for the slightest excuse, insolvency practitioners appointed too quickly, huge exit fees, no legal advice taken by security providers. These are just a few of the practices that we frequently see and that are in danger of giving the alt-fi market a bad name. That’s without mentioning some of the things going on in the crowd funding and fin-tech world.
So why do I think Reward is different?
- Transparency – we are open about fees and interest. Our clients are paying a premium price for a premium offering and we aren’t embarrassed to tell them.
- Empathy – we work with people to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome even when something hasn’t gone exactly to plan.
- Speed – we have a team of time served qualified bankers (and great lawyers at Clarion) enabling us to deliver accurately and quickly.
- Experience – anyone can lend money, getting it back is the hard bit! There is no substitute for experience in making good credit decisions at the outset, or for working with the client to get the money back. There isn’t an algorithm that ever got a penny back for anyone.
- Our people – we have real people that you can actually talk to. Real people making decisions and real people looking after the client throughout the whole journey. And, we are actually friendly.
The first quarter of 2018 saw Reward complete a record breaking 52 transactions and lending £15m. What is particularly pleasing is that of those 52 transactions, 21 were with clients who have borrowed from us before.
On a final note I want to quote verbatim the words a repeat client sent in only this week. This was a client that things didn’t go to plan for last time and who we have helped through a difficult time. “Just to reiterate the service from Reward has been first class. We would not have been able to manage without your support.”
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.