In the Spotlight with Chris Jones, JMT Finance

We spoke to Chris Jones, managing director at JMT Finance, about the firm's lending proposition, what types of finance it offers to brokers, and what effects the recent rate increases have had on the market.

Related topics:  In The Spotlight,  Specialist Lending
Rozi Jones | Editor, Barcadia Media Limited
14th April 2023
Chris Jones, Managing Director at JMT Finance
"As a lender, we currently offer unregulated commercial finance term loans, and bridging loans."

FR: JMT Finance has been trading for over three years now, can you give us a brief history and some background about yourself?

JMT Finance was initially established to offer tenants of our associate company, Prospect Estates Limited, the opportunity to purchase their rented commercial premises. We offered an LTV and an application process that made our commercial funding significantly more accessible than many other lenders. At the time, I was employed by Prospect Estates as in-house counsel, a role I still undertake alongside my position at JMT.

Our ambitions for JMT soon grew beyond our initial intentions and before long we had made the decision to offer our products to the open market. It was at this point that our chairman, John Lund, promoted me to managing director. From there, I implanted a rebrand of the business and began building relationships with some really good brokers and introducers, in addition to an infrastructure which would allow us to expand the business.

FR: JMT has grown and improved its brand identity over the last three years - what has contributed towards the success of the business?

My involvement of course!

On a more serious note, we are entirely privately funded, so the trust and support John has shown myself, and the business, has played a huge part in our success to date. I am also really fortunate to benefit from the guidance of our non-executive director, Steve Marsh, whose industry experience is second to none.

A huge part of what we do and who we are is centred around the relationships we have built and the reputation we have earned. We are extremely careful and selective about which brokers and introducers we do business with. This is so we can be certain that our borrowers are receiving the best advice available when raising finance for their business needs. We also have a very close working relationship with our lead panel lawyer, Robin Sharp of JMW Solicitors, which enables us to progress transactions not only efficiently but also diligently. And, of course, I am very fortunate to have the assistance of Imogen in all that we do.

FR: What are JMT’s core values?

We pride ourselves on being efficient, positive, personable, transparent and honest.

The structure of our business allows us to treat each application on an individual basis. We do not have set applications forms, and we always meet our borrowers personally on site at the start of each application. We prefer to get to know people as individuals rather than just names on a page.

We consider ourselves to be very approachable and make time to discuss any proposals or difficulties with our introducers and borrowers. We like to be part of the success of our borrowers and witness their businesses thrive. Supporting the local community is also a priority and we are currently the proud sponsors of CM Albion Juniors Football Club.

FR: What types of commercial finance do you offer brokers?

As a lender, we currently offer unregulated commercial finance term loans, and bridging loans. Our terms range from 18 months to 10 years, and we offer LTVs of up to 80%. We are happy to support first-time landlords, and owner occupiers across a range of different industries.

FR: What effects have the recent rate increases had on the commercial finance sector in general and have you had to react and make changes? If so, what did you do?

I think the biggest impact, and possibly the most frustrating one for brokers and borrowers alike, is the changing of rates and products mid-transaction. This is something we have been very keen to avoid doing. Where we have offered terms to a borrower, we have made sure those loans have been unaltered and completed at the original agreed rates. We want our brokers and borrowers to be confident that if they receive an offer of finance from JMT, it will be honoured.

FR: What should we expect to see from JMT Finance in 2023?

We will continue to offer products which we believe fill a niche in the market. Whether that be by offering a higher-than-average LTV, not requiring an independent valuation, or simply through our personalised approach. We believe our offering is unique.

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