Property Finance Brokers arranging Whole of Market Funding for Property Developers, Investors & Traders

About Optima

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Gary Walsh, a director of Optima Property Funding, has provided information in FAQ format on what the business does, the market it operates in and how it works with property professionals to broker finance.

 

Who is Optima Property Funding and what do they do?

Optima Property Funding (Optima) is a finance brokerage that works with property developers, traders and investors to arrange funding for their property projects. We operate both in the short term market (Development Finance and Bridging Loans) and the long term market (Commercial Investment and Buy to Let Mortgages).

Optima are based in St Albans but spend a couple of days a week in Central London and broker finance for projects in England, Scotland and Wales.

As a rule of thumb we have a minimum loan size of £500k for development finance and £250k for bridging loans and commercial mortgages although if the project is lowly geared, straight forward or located in London/SE we may consider smaller projects depending upon workload / ease of funding. There is no cap on the maximum loan we will broker and we place cases running into £Multi M.

Does Optima broker FCA Regulated Business?

Optima is not regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority); formerly FSA), and therefore does not broker FCA regulated business.

FCA Regulated business is that where a lender secures its loan by taking a first charge on owner occupied residential property (i.e. the borrower’s residence); and this includes semi commercial property where the borrower resides and where the residential element amounts to 40% or more of the size of the property.

Who is behind the name?

The proprietor is Gary Walsh who spent nearly twenty years in banking including the last four of those years in a senior position in the property finance division of a large bank. Gary is a professionally qualified, having passed the recognised ACIB (Associate of the Chartered Institute of Bankers) examinations.

After leaving banking, Gary spent a few years in interim management/consultancy positions in a variety of industries including recruitment, telecoms and construction, before setting up the brokerage in 2003.

Does Optima have any industry accreditation?

Optima is a full member of the NACFB (National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers); a recognised and reputable body. Optima abide by the code of conduct of the NACFB, and participate in their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes. www.NACFB.org

Optima hold both a Consumer Credit Licence (FCA – Interim Permission) and a Data Protection Licence. Details can be seen at the foot of the web site.

Optima is not authorised by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority –  formerly FSA), to broker Regulated Mortgages.

FCA Regulated Mortgage  – where a lender secures its loan by taking a first charge on owner occupied residential property (i.e. the borrower’s residence); and this includes semi commercial property where the borrower resides and where the residential element amounts to 40% or more of the size of the property.

How does Optima operate, what fees are charged and when are they payable?

We have set out below the typical process we follow when brokering finance for a project.

Task Cost to client Benefit to client
Initial enquiry by ‘phone or e mail Nil Free consultation 
Indicative quotation provided by Optima Nil Free, no risk to client
Optima submit to/discuss with lender(s) who issue Heads of Terms/ AIP Nil Free, no risk to client
Full Fact Find by ‘phone or face to face Nil Free , no risk to client
Optima / Client agree and sign Teems of Business Nil Free, no risk to client 
Optima submit full application to lender Nil Free, no risk to client. The market norm is that the client pays a commitment fee at this stage
Lender issues Offer of finance (which may be subject to valuation and other conditions) Nil Free, no risk to client. The market norm is that the  full broker fee is due at this stage
Client accepts lenders offer of finance 25% of the broker fee (1) If the client does not accept the offer of finance, a fee is not payable
Optima work with all parties (lawyers, valuers etc.) to complete due diligence Nil We have a vested interest in facilitating the process to ensure drawdown of funding
Drawdown of the facility 75% of the broker fee This part of the fee is only payable if the deal completes to drawdown of the facility
Note (1) Subject to a minimum fee. Larger deals may attract a partial fee of less than 25%.

We operate the following transparent and fair policy on fees:

  • We agree a fee with a client for the project, normally in line with our tariff but subject to negotiation on larger deals and for repeat or volume business.
  • Our tariff is competitive.
  • We disclose and rebate any procurement fee we receive from a lender. So for example let us say that we agree to charge a client 1.25% for raising £1M on a project. If the lender pays us a procurement fee of 0.5%, the client would pay only the balance of 0.75%. Therefore in essence we don’t accept lender procurement fees and as such there can be no issue of any conflict of interest.
  • We do not charge an up front commitment fee with submission of the full application to the lender. Most brokers charge a non-refundable commitment fee which can range from £500 to many thousands.
  • We do not charge a fee on the issue of a lenders offer letter. Most brokers fees are legally due  at issue of offer stage (as laid out in their Terms of Business) even if in practice they are collected at drawdown of the finance. If a project aborts without completing, most brokers will pursue the client for the full fee.
  • We charge 25% of the agreed fee (subject to a minimum charge to cover the cost of broking small deals) upon the clients acceptance of the lenders offer letter. The partial fee may be less than 25% of the full fee for larger deals. Indeed many lenders similarly charge a proportion of their fee at this stage.
  • The balance of 75% of the agreed fee is payable upon drawdown of the facility.
  • A copy of our Terms of Business and our Tariff is available upon request; we do not make it available on line as we do not wish our competitors to see it!

We work with many satisfied professional property clients, some of whom have provided testimonials which you can view on the Successes page of the site and who if contacted, will vouch that we are both competitive and fair in our fee policy.

If you have a specific enquiry or wish to discuss the market in general, or indeed require clarification on anything you have read on this site please either call us on 0207 205 4200 or click on the link below:

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Optima Property Funding Ltd
Henry Wood House, 2 Riding House Street, London W1W 7FA
Telephone:  0207 205 4200
Email:          finance@optimafunding.co.uk

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What our customers say about us:

Optima are well connected in the development finance market but we get much more than a lender introduction. Gary uses his experience to foresee and address hiccups which enables us to proceed with the project with some confidence that we will get it across the line.

duncan

For further testimonials and Case Studies click here

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