The property investment business and landlord had acquired a redundant office block in Greater London, added value via planning enhancements, and converted it into 45 apartments.
However, the development — which was completed at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak — faced an open-ended delay to the letting process and income generation.
Rosewall Properties approached UTB’s structured finance division aiming to refinance an existing development loan on to a longer-term investment facility and release equity from its latest project for new commercial investment opportunities.
Despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 lockdown, UTB was able to complete a flexible, hybrid solution, on a five-year term, giving the borrower additional breathing space to find tenants, and an interest rate which reduces when the apartments are let and income is generated.
“The timing of the pandemic lockdown couldn’t have come at a worse time for us,” said Lahrie Mohamed, director at Rosewall Properties.
“We are an agile and innovative company, so the situation didn’t slow us down too much.
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“The hardest thing was trying to find a lender with the same attributes.
“The uncertain climate and challenging operational conditions saw lenders drop like flies and the marketplace for refinancing shrank overnight.”
However, Gerard Morgan Jackson, head of UTB’s structured finance division (pictured above), and the team, took a “different approach”, according to Lahrie.
“They looked for reasons to work with us, rather than reasons not to,” he added.
“They found ways to overcome obstacles created by the lockdown restrictions and quickly came up with a flexible and competitive solution which met our requirements.”
The bank’s structured finance division has completed around £40m of loans to support new and existing customers with similar requirements since the lockdown began.
Gerard commented that, with the current situation creating a host of problems for lenders and borrowers alike, it would be “easy” to put things on hold, or use the current circumstances as a reason to delay completions until the future is clearer.
“Rather than follow the herd, we chose to back our client and to complete a substantial investment facility for them, working through issues created by the pandemic,” he stated.
“We have confidence in our clients and will support them through all weathers.”