All posts by: Iris Lefroy

Aspen completes £1.2m bridge for BVI company

Aspen has completed a £1.2m residential bridging loan for a British Virgin Islands (BVI) company which commenced a debt restructuring programme just prior to the coronavirus outbreak.

The loan, which was completed at a rate of 0.89%pm flat rate with no exit fees over 12 months, was secured on a penthouse in the prestigious Pan Peninsula development in the City of London using the lender’s desktop valuations system.

The client, an experienced foreign businessman, required a quick turnaround to ensure the cashflow of his businesses was maintained during the uncertain period.

Continuing the practice of one underwriter per case, credit manager Harry Baker took the application from start-to-finish.

The lender met all Time-Based Service Excellence Targets with a fully-costed quote issued in the first 15 minutes and a submitted post-search DIP in one hour.

Legals and valuations were instructed within 30 minutes with enquiries and undertaking received same day.

Meetings with the client were undertaken by Facetime and Aspen’s legal partners were able to progress matters quickly, seamlessly working with a third-party legal team to provide the required legal opinion on the BVI Company.

Jack Coombs, director at Aspen Bridging said: “This case shows we are still able to deliver on our Time-Based Service Excellence Targets remotely, regardless of market challenges or case complexity.

“Our experienced team knew what to look for from day one to ensure it progressed in-line with the client’s expectations and to ensure the best turnaround time without any last-minute problems.

“Our business has been built to ensure the highest levels of service whether it’s a simple light refurb, complex legal structures or foreign national applications, and that is why we have seen a record number of brokers registering for our instant quoting ‘Broker View’ platform since the pandemic started.”

Aspen’s rate card has a maximum LTV to 75%, which can be realised through both physical and desktop valuations, and a top loan amount of £3m net.

The lender’s flat and stepped rate products include residential and light refurbishment, residential and medium refurbishment, HMOs, prime semi-commercial and prime commercial property.

The equity-funded lender further streamlined their processes during Covid-19, with full remote capacity and same day pay-out facilities.

UK businesses looking to international markets for post-Covid bounce

UK businesses are planning for increased international trade over the next 12 months looking for a post-Covid bounce, finds new research commissioned by Kreston International, a global network of independent accountancy firms.

The research, conducted in May amongst 514 SMEs across the UK and published in a report Trading internationally in 2020 – a post Covid-19 perspective, found that whilst 55% of businesses have cancelled or delayed plans to export to overseas markets or trade internationally as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, 51% say their view on the importance of international trade has increased.

45% of businesses surveyed expect international trade to return within 12 months, suggesting they are expecting a V-shaped economic recovery. 40% of those surveyed also expect to see increased levels of import trade.

Kreston is a global network of 200 accountancy firms across 110 countries employing more than 23,000 people. The survey was commissioned by five UK Kreston member firms: BHP, Bishop Fleming, Duncan & Toplis, James Cowper Kreston and Kreston Reeves.

Headline findings:

  • 71% of businesses in this survey told us that pre Covid-19 they were trading internationally.
  • 55% of businesses have delayed or cancelled plans to trade overseas as a result of Covid-19.
  • 51% of business leaders say their view on the importance of exporting has increased in a post Covid-19 world.
  • 40% of business leaders surveyed expect to see import trade increase.
  • 45% of business leaders expect international trade to return within 12 months, suggesting they are expecting a V-shaped recovery.
  • Of those businesses that were not trading internationally before the outbreak of Covid-19, 34% say they are likely or very likely to expand internationally in the next three years.
  • 39% of business leaders believe Covid-19 will provide opportunities for their business.

Andrew Griggs, a board member of Kreston International and senior partner at Kreston Reeves said: “Our research has shown that UK businesses are outward-looking, generating considerable revenues from international markets. Covid-19 has, unsurprisingly, placed businesses under varying degrees of stress and temporarily halted much international trade – 80% of businesses told us that they are under a little or a lot of stress, and that 55% of them have delayed or cancelled plans to explore export markets or trade internationally as a result.

“But the research presents a much more positive picture. Over half (51%) of those businesses surveyed say that their view on the importance of international trade has increased in a post-Covid world, and that 40% expect to see import trade increase.

“What is particularly encouraging is that 45% of businesses surveyed expect international trade to return within 12 months, suggesting the much hoped for v-shaped recovery.”

In November and December 2019, Kreston surveyed 1,109 small and medium-sized businesses for their views on the reputation of the UK internationally and barriers to international trade as the UK looked to officially depart the European Union.

That survey found 52% of businesses believed the UK’s reputation on the international business stage had improved in the last 3 years, with 70% of businesses saying that it is the skills and expertise of entrepreneurs and businesses that drives our reputation. 79% of businesses surveyed in late 2019 believe that it is the actions of politicians and policy that threaten our international reputation.

Liza Robbins, CEO of Kreston International adds: “The first survey was due to be published in March this year but was delayed because of Covid-19. Yet as the UK looks to agree a trading agreement with the EU, its findings are still important and relevant.

“Our research found that the biggest concerns for businesses trading internationally are tax, VAT and duties (23%), currency fluctuations (20%), and tariffs and trade barriers (19%). Red tape (18%), the cost of international trade (18%), logistics (17%), and getting paid (14%) are all very real barriers to international growth. As we look to redefine our position on the world stage these remain live issues.

“We asked businesses what help they would most value when trading internationally, and, reflecting the complexity of international growth, there is no one single measure that would help more than others.
“Businesses told us that free trade deals (32%) would be the most helpful but would also want to see tax breaks (26%), financial incentives (25%), partnering opportunities (25%), less red tape (23%) and help in identifying customers (21%). A package of support is quite clearly required to help British SMEs take on the world.”

Businesses looking to trade internationally turn to many different sources of information for advice including professional or trade body (41%), Department for International Trade (39%), accountants or financial advisers (32%) and local chambers of commerce (31%).

Andrew Griggs adds: “Brexit has changed the face of international trade for UK businesses, and that will bring both challenges and opportunities. We are encouraged by the outward face of SMEs, but government, professional and trade bodies, and their advisers, all need to play a greater role in helping secure the long-term international future of British business.”

 

Consumers will bear the cost of no deal

Period Covered: 01-05 June 2020

  • Shop prices fell by 1.6% in June compared to a decrease of 2.4% in May. This is below the 12- and 6-month average price decreases of 0.8% and 1.2%, respectively.
  • Non-food prices fell by 3.4% in June compared to a decline of 4.6% in May. This is below the 12-and 6-month average price declines of 2.2% and 2.8%, respectively.
  • Food inflation was steady at 1.5% in June, the same rate of increase as in May. This is in line with the 12- and 6-month average price increases of 1.5% and 1.5%, respectively.
  • Fresh food inflation was steady at 0.5% in June, the same rate of increase as in May. This is below the 12- and 6-month average price increases of 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively.
  • Ambient food inflation was steady at 2.9% in June, the same rate of increase as in May. This is above the 12- and 6-month average price increases of 2.5% and 2.7%, respectively

Helen Dickinson OBE, chief executive, British Retail Consortium:

“Consumers have benefited as shop prices have fallen for the 13th consecutive month, however the situation for many retailers, such as those in clothing and footwear, remains very challenging. Sales have dropped significantly since mid-March and two thirds of businesses are reporting turnover below pre-crisis levels, meaning there is a serious risk to jobs as a result. The government should focus on stimulating demand in the economy and restoring consumer confidence.

“Coronavirus has been a huge shock to the retail industry and coming on top of this, the threat of the UK leaving the EU without a trade deal is a real concern as it would lead to severe disruptions to supply chains, far beyond those experienced during lockdown, resulting in higher prices and reduced availability in shops. It is imperative that government secures a deal with the EU or hard-pressed consumers will bear the cost.”

Mike Watkins, head of retailer and Business Insight, Nielsen:

“Shoppers have been buying more at Supermarkets during ‘lockdown’, in particular in grocery and frozen, but also in higher value categories such as alcohol, where sales have increased over 30% in recent weeks. However, ambient food inflation remains at +2.9% and lower in fresh foods as seasonal produce becomes available. Retailers and their suppliers continue to work together to cope with the unprecedented high demand due to the closure of most of the out of home and hospitality channels.”

Trend of increased global use of digital payment technology to be accelerated

The Covid-19 pandemic will accelerate a worldwide trend towards contactless payments, according to a new report from the Emerging Payments Association EU (EPA EU), which was commissioned by Luxembourg for Finance (LFF).

While the shift to digital payments is not a new trend – over recent years investment in payments related fintech has been double that of other technology investments across financial services – the pandemic will accelerate the pace of change in the structure of the industry. It is pushing what were once powerful disruptors, such as credit and debit cards, to become the disrupted, as digital wallets gain favour, particularly with younger age groups.

This sped-up evolutionary process is not without its challenges. EPA EU and LFF’s report argues that global providers must keep customers’ personal data safe while still ensuring cross border interoperability.

Some of the report’s key takeaways from a review of different global markets include:

  • The European picture is fragmented. debit cards remain the continent’s preferred way to pay across all age groups. EPA argues for the continent to shine in a digital world, local networks and solutions need to be interoperable and frictionless across the EU
  •  In the US, more traditional credit and debit providers are under attack from big technology and nimble digital players. Apple Pay is now accepted in 60% of US retail locations, and one estimate suggests that Trustly, a digital account-to-account payment scheme, saw a US growth rate of approximately 600% in 2019.
  • In Asia, UnionPay has enjoyed a virtual monopoly in the electronic payment systems landscape, with more than six billion cards in issue as of June 2019. The company is now looking further afield to Europe, but local giants Alipay and WeChat are also expanding abroad.

Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance, said: “The switch to digital payments looks set to happen much quicker than the shift to cards did in the past. The method of payment is becoming less important than the platform used, to the extent of becoming invisible. This report highlights the countries that have been early movers and are demonstrating best practice in the payments space.”

Thibault de Barsy, general manager of EPA’s EU office, added: “Despite being covered by the same regulation and having access to similar technologies, European consumers’ use of cashless payments differs drastically from one country to another. Nonetheless, instantaneous execution and openness of choice are the universal ingredients of success.”

The full report is available here: https://www.emergingpayments.eu/whitepaper/the-european-payments-landscape-in-perspective/

Sopra Banking Software signs strategic partnership with Tink

  • Sopra Banking Software (SBS), a global leader in digital banking and financing software, announces a strategic channel partnership with Tink, Europe’s leading open banking platform.

    Two European Fintech leaders in digital banking combine their technologies and expertise.

    This partnership will enable SBS’s customers to harness the full value chain of open banking, well beyond PSD2 compliance. By integrating Tink’s technologies, Sopra Banking Platform will offer new value and turn-key cloud native digital banking solutions.

  • Sopra Banking Platform’s capabilities – one of the richest catalogs of retail banking functionalities and business features, such as accounts, savings, lending, payments, channels and compliance. Through its engagement platform (Digital Banking Engagement Platform), Sopra Banking Software designs end-to-end digital banking solutions.

Tink’s technologies – financial data aggregation, payment initiation, data enrichment and personal finance management capabilities. Tink connects to more than 2,500 banks that reach over 250 million bank customers across Europe.

By integrating third-party data and orchestrating internal and external API services, banks will be able to design fully digital, personalized customer experiences.

SBS’s parent company, Sopra Steria, whose capabilities include digital services, consulting and infrastructure, will also support the deployment of its open banking solutions.

Open banking-enabled new digital banking solutions.

Sopra Banking Software’s roadmaps include Tink-enabled innovative use cases, such as multi-banking, customer onboarding, KYC, digital lending, enhanced credit scoring, integrated payments, North-South transfers and personal finance management.

Eric Pasquier, CEO at Sopra Banking Software, explained: “Tomorrow’s financial services will be inter-connected, embedded and often invisible. To differentiate, banks will increasingly need to actively connect with external third parties. Combining Sopra Banking’s unique sets of retail banking solutions with Tink’s open banking technologies will allow our clients to develop unique data-enabled customer experiences.”

Daniel Kjellén, co-founder and CEO of Tink, added: “As Europe’s leading open banking platform, we are proud to enter this strategic channel partnership with a global leader in digital banking like Sopra Banking Software. We look forward to working with Sopra Banking Software and supporting their 1,500 clients in 80 countries with our open banking technology.”

Retailers collaborate to combat climate change

Climate change remains one of the biggest threats to our planet and society. Despite currently facing the ongoing challenges of coronavirus head on, retailers are making a bold pledge to fight climate change and build a better world for everyone.

Twenty major retailers have today signed a declaration to develop a roadmap to tackle the causes of climate change. The declaration notes that retailers “are coming together through the BRC to develop a ground-breaking decarbonisation plan that will guide the industry on the steps necessary to accelerate progress to a Net Zero UK, ahead of the government’s 2050 target.”

Led by the BRC, the declaration commissions the creation of a roadmap that will provide retailers with the guidance and support necessary to decarbonise. Not only are they committed to cutting carbon emissions associated with their shops, distribution centres and logistics, but also, and most importantly, their supply chains and the products people are buying every day.

The research will be conducted by environmental experts and published in the form of a roadmap, along with a wider industry commitment, in the run up to COP26. The work will build upon the Better Retail Better World campaign whereby retailers reduced their carbon emissions from operations by over one third since 2005.

Peter Andrews, head of sustainability policy at the British Retail Consortium, said:

“Climate change remains one of the biggest threats to the planet. As we start to recover from the coronavirus pandemic there is no better opportunity to build a greener more sustainable world. The expectations of society are shifting rapidly. Greater action from businesses is expected. Retail will lead the way.

“Retailers, suppliers and customers all have their part to play in reducing their carbon emissions. This roadmap will be the first step towards a better, more sustainable future. It will then be up to wider industry and government to implement the recommendations it set out.”

Hope Capital records huge June spike in enquiries

Hope Capital has recorded a stronger June performance than for the same month last year, fuelling growing optimism that the market is bouncing back strongly from the coronavirus-inspired freeze.

Although many restrictions remained in place, Hope Capital received a huge 189% leap in enquiries from the previous June’s figures. This includes an increase in enquiries from brokers the firm has not previously worked with. The number of formal loan offers also increased by 20% compared to June 2019.

At the same time, Hope Capital has delivered even faster response times, with application and underwriting three times faster than in the first quarter of 2020. Over the first six months of 2020, the firm has seen a 14% increase in loans accepted by underwriting and a 31% increase in loans accepted by clients.

This strong demand coincides with the introduction of a new range of products, aimed at giving borrowers maximum flexibility and control. Launched at the end of May, the Hope Capital Custom Collection provides borrowers with an array of products and features designed to help them manage cashflow and optimise their day-one loan amount.

Nearly 90% of the new enquiries Hope Capital received in June were for residential property, up from just 50% the previous year. This reflects the strong residential offering of the Custom Collection, with the Hope Mini, Midi and Maxi loans all aimed specifically at residential investors. Nearly half of these were for loans of less than £150,000 – a market specifically catered for by the new Hope Mini product, starting at just £50,000.

While 25% of residential enquiries came from the North-West of England, nearly one-third (31%) of were from borrowers in the South-East of England – the highest proportion for any region – reflecting Hope Capital’s nationwide reach.

In addition to its all-new residential products, the Hope Capital Custom Collection also includes options for a built-in three-month repayment holiday for serviced or part-serviced loans, the ability to choose how much of the loan is serviced or retained, and a discounted rate for the first six months. Borrowers can also choose to reduce the upfront fees they pay, and to use alternative valuation methods where speed is of the essence.

Jonathan Sealey, CEO of Hope Capital, commented: “These figures are evidence that demand for short-term finance is strong, and growing. With lockdown easing, there is a pent-up demand for borrowing as projects that were put on hold in spring are put back in motion.

“The strong demand we have seen also reflects the range of products we have made available to meet borrowers’ diverse needs in the post-lockdown world. Our new Hope Capital Custom Collection gives borrowers all the flexibility they need to cope with the new circumstances in which they find themselves as a result of Covid-19.

“Hope Capital is putting borrowers and brokers in control. Combined with our well-earned reputation for fast, flexible service, this should make Hope Capital their first port of call when looking for short-term finance.”

FIBA TV at Home showcases lender partners

FIBA, the specialist finance trade body, has announced the latest series of interviews with their lender partners on FIBA TV recorded during the lockdown. The first of the new series can be found exclusively on the FIBA website from Thursday 2nd July.

After the success of the first two series, which were filmed with a professional videographer, the new series of lender interviews was captured on webcams at the homes of interviewees and FIBA’s Adam Tyler. The goal is to continue providing members with vital information from some of the proactive panel lenders, including their backgrounds, aims and the types of new business they are looking for.

On Thursday, members will be able to access the first of the interviews with Aspen Bridging, closely followed by YBS Commercial’s head of business development, Mike Davies, talking to executive chairman, Adam Tyler, about the Society’s commitment to the commercial and buy-to-let sector along with its plans and aspirations in a post Covid market.

Adam Tyler said, “Obviously, webcam filming through ‘Teams’ is hardly up to Hollywood standards but we still wanted to be able to reach out to our members at this time. Since we launched FIBA TV last year, the interviews with senior lender personnel were enthusiastically received by a wide cross section of our membership before the current Covid epidemic. During the current crisis, we had already successfully attracted over 1000 advisers to attend our webinars in May and June and we felt it was important to provide another way, via FIBA TV, for members to be able to stay in touch with our lender partners and keep up to date.”

Adam added, “So, look out for the launch of FIBA TV Series 3 ‘At Home’ on Thursday, which will start with YBS Commercial and Aspen Bridging and then the interviews with Precise Mortgages, Roma Finance, Landbay, LendInvest and Reward Finance being added over the coming weeks.”

Mike Davies, head of business development at YBS Commercial, commented, “Full marks to FIBA for arranging these interviews during the lockdown. The session with Adam has given us a valuable opportunity to reach FIBA members at a time when direct contact is, understandably, still restricted. It enabled me to put across our proposition and will hopefully give advisers some ideas as to how YBS can assist them and their customers during these challenging times.”

Bentayga is the ultimate SUV (now tell that to the corporate accountant!)

There is no denial that VW Group’s investment in Bentley has been generous and well-managed, highlights Iain Robertson, and the latest upgrade to the German-British firm’s full-size SUV only serves to bolster its high-end market aspirations.

When the world motor industry’s obsession with Sport Utility Vehicles commenced sometime towards the end of the last Millennium, nobody would have bet hard cash on the number of diverse brands indulging in the process. Let’s face it, the Range Rover was the gamechanger, when it was introduced in 1970…fifty years ago. Yet, it had the market on its side, as Land Rover was regarded as the ultimate, all-surface mode of transport and, in its own plastic-fantastic, big-windowed statement, Range Rover was set to modernise and motivate the 4×4 scene.

However, by the time the Mark Two version arrived, it was abundantly clear that a blend of royal and business patronage would hike its intentions considerably upmarket. Of course, list prices also took an upwards hike from the £2,000 launch ticket of the original. Yet, the demand was unrelenting. The Japanese brands also hopped onto the bandwagon, with the Toyota Land-Cruiser, sister brand Lexus and Nissan Patrol keen to snaffle up aspiring buyers, while the Jeep Grand Cherokee and a plethora of GM-based ‘utes’ were determined to wave a US nationalistic flag at the 4×4 sector.

While Bentley is a relatively recent incumbent, with Bentayga, its natural rival and former stablemate being the BMW-owned Rolls-Royce Cullinan, the ‘shock’ effect of unexpected brands adopting an SUV ‘status’ has been far-reaching. Lamborghini, Ferrari, Maserati, Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo are among the upwardly mobile manufacturers seeking a cut, which leaves the market wide open for newcomers like Ineos to try to grab a slice of Land Rover’s more agricultural Defender business. However, any carmaker worth its salt is now more concerned with its SUV involvement than its more conventional passenger cars. It is an intriguing situation, not least because of the higher running costs inherent to a pair of driven axles, heavier construction and the inevitability of a larger engine capacity (lower MPG; higher CO2), at a time of questionable economic stability.

Naturally, Bentley’s owner offered a quick route to market, with its shared platform strategy. The VW Touareg begat Audis Q7 and Q8, it also underpins the Porsche Cayenne. A deft styling department would graft Bentley’s signature radiator grille to the slightly bosomy profile and, while it was hardly the prettiest of breed, its street presence was enormous. Bentley could also dip into its owner’s range of power units, in an attempt to maintain its stance as a potent, high-speed cruiser. Strangely, the cocktail worked and Bentley’s onwards and upwards approach continued apace, with no less than 20,000 examples finding prestigious homes since its introduction.

On first acquaintance, while I felt that the first version was little bit too much melange and not really enough Bentley, the latest iteration is altogether more complete. The latest, more upright and projecting Bentley snout actually looks right on the car, being of a more balanced appearance than before. While there was no issue with the original version’s luxury cabin accoutrements, Bentley has raised the bar again with the new version, with even prouder applications of monograms, cross-stitching and diamond-cut trimmings.

However, it is what lies beneath the bonnet that turns the heads of the cognoscenti, after all, Bentley possesses a title as ‘the world’s fastest SUV’ that it wants to retain. A 4.0-litre V8 bi-turbo petrol engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, delivers a whopping 542bhp punch, to which you can factor in 568lbs ft of torque. While towing an Eccles caravan to ‘Skegvegas’, however easy, might be unlikely, that sort of heft will make easy meat of a Courchevel Twin Horsebox en-route to ‘Badders’.

In ‘regular’ form, this potency entitles a top whack of 180mph, after despatching the 0-60mph sprint in an immodest 4.4s. However, it needs its cylinder decoupling technology (four of them can be cut-off during light throttle cruising) to return 21.2mpg (official combined), while emitting 302g/km CO2 allied to the price tag that will mean several thousand Pounds’ worth of road tax dues, not that a typical Bentley owner will be concerned about that little overhead. Although it is unavailable for the moment, the 6.0-litre W12 engine is being retained for the more focused Speed model, which will top 190mph, glug fuel like an Oliver Reed tribute act and ensure that the performance flag flies high at Crewe. Yet, as you might recall, a plug-in hybrid version will also be available to soften the eco-blow.

It is also worth highlighting that the Bentayga offers the most comprehensive range of four on-road and four off-road driving modes and, thanks to a 20mm increase in rear track width, greater stability, better steering responses and enhanced grip levels are dialled into the chassis dynamics program. Matching the silky V8 engine is an equally silken ride quality and semi-active roll control.

Naturally, communications technology has been improved and, if a 590W, 12-speaker stereo system is insufficient for occupants’ ears, a Naim bespoke alternative can provide 1,750W through 20-speakers. Both Apple and Android mobiles can be connected and recharged and the customary round of electronic driving and safety packages (ADAS) has been enhanced. However, despite having just two headlamps on the Bentayga’s nose, their range and flexibility are among the most advanced of any, with 82 adaptive LEDs each. The wipers are also a bit special, featuring 22 heated washer jets in each arm that clean the screen most efficiently.

Unsurprisingly, the Breitling timepiece that is dash-central remains, although the former twin air-vents are now a single sculpted unit, which looks a lot smarter. The Audi influence evident in previous Bentleys is taken on a few upmarket steps (not just in the Bentayga model) to result in one of the most beautifully presented, exceptionally well-built and visually appealing interiors of any car on earth. Not that a reason is needed to warrant Bentley’s desirability, if you really want a large chunk of automotive real estate, the latest Bentayga delivers on all counts.
Although requesting a price is notionally vulgar, the new Bentayga will be available from around £140,000, to which you can add another £25,000 for a W12 example (and almost £100,000 additionally, if you want a Mulliner bespoke model). Heck! It’s only money.

Christie Finance support the purchase of two Scottish pharmacies by their existing managers

Specialist commercial finance broker, Christie Finance, has supported on the sale of two well-established Scottish Pharmacies, Eildon Pharmacy in Newtown St Boswells and Airth Pharmacy in Stirlingshire, to their existing Pharmacist Managers. Both businesses were sold by the same owner looking to pursue retirement.

Eildon Pharmacy is a community pharmacy servicing Newtown St Boswells, Roxburghshire, and its surrounding areas. Established over 20 years ago, it now dispenses an average of 5,000 items per month. The pharmacy has been purchased by Mr John McDougall, who has held the position of pharmacist manager at the pharmacy since 2013. John qualified in 1999 and has nearly 20 years’ experience as a community pharmacist in a variety of settings, including Lloyds Pharmacy and other independent chains.

Mr McDougall comments, “Sourcing finance as a first-time pharmacy buyer was not easy. At first, I was not sure about using a third party to secure finance due to the costs involved. However, after several months and having no success on my own, I let Craig at Christie Finance take over. Very quickly he was able to obtain more than one offer of finance with highly competitive terms. I am now extremely pleased to have completed on the purchase of my first pharmacy. I believe this would have happened a lot earlier if I had worked with Christie Finance from the outset. For any potential first-time buyer out there, I would not hesitate to recommend Craig’s services.”

Airth Pharmacy is also a community pharmacy located in the village of Airth, Stirlingshire. It services the local community with an average monthly dispensing volume of 2,673 items. The business has been purchased by Mr John Porter, who has been a pharmacist manager at the pharmacy since 2008. Mr Porter qualified in 1988 and has over 30 years’ experience as a Community Pharmacist, which includes working as an Area Manager at Lloyds Pharmacy, responsible for the running of ten pharmacies.

Mr Porter comments, “Craig atChristie Finance was involved from day one of my pharmacy purchase deal, easily contactable and fully understanding of my needs and goals from the beginning. We were in contact frequently and his business advice and sector experience were invaluable. Craig kept in touch even when his main role was completed and actively offered advice and help at every stage of my deal and beyond.”

Craig Dickson, director at Christie Finance, comments, “It was a pleasure working with my clients in realising their dreams and becoming the new owners of their respective pharmacies. This was a fantastic opportunity for me to be involved and assist in supporting not one, but two clients purchasing from the same vendor. I wish them both the very best in embarking on this new journey of business ownership and would be delighted to assist should they ever need my help again in the future.”