It has been brought to our attention that a scam loans company called Loan4Help has been committing fraud by claiming to offer or advance “loans” to borrowers whilst pretending to be a trading company of Finance and Credit Corporation Limited. It is not. Loan4Help has absolutely no connection to Finance and Credit Corporation Limited.

It has also come to our attention that a third party has been contacting borrowers on a fraudulent basis by purporting to be Finance and Credit Corporation Limited and claiming to offer or advance “loans” to borrowers. This third party has been contacting borrowers on an unsolicited basis via the following email address: . Please note that our company Finance and Credit Corporation Limited is in no way connected with the third party and does not use or operate that email address.

These operations have been cold calling and emailing members of the public, fraudulently pretending to be or to be connected with Finance and Credit Corporation Limited, asking for upfront fees from borrowers and advancing monies in relation to purported “loans”. They have also sent documents to borrowers which fraudulently claim to contain the signature of the Managing Director of our company.

These operations have also been using the following telephone numbers to contact consumers: 0203 129 2514 and 0238 106 0723. They may also have been operating from other telephone numbers and email addresses.

Please note that Finance and Credit Corporation Limited does not cold call, send unsolicited signed “loan agreements” or ask for upfront fees. We strongly suggest that you call our Managing Director Elio Astone on 020 7722 7547 in advance of proceeding with any “loan” or if you have any further questions.

If you are contacted by Loan4Help, or any of the companies which appear to be involved in these frauds, you should also report them to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Bridging LoansClear & Simple

Fincorp is one of the UK's most established and respected bridging loan companies. For more than 25 years the company has been providing 1st and 2nd charge bridging finance on residential properties in London and Southern England. Our bridging loans vary typically between £100,000 and £10 million, and we lend up to 70% value of the property secured on the property. And because you deal only with decision-makers, your bridging loan requirements are always dealt with quickly and with the minimum of fuss.

Why Fincorp for Bridging Loans?

We're a Principal Lender. Customers are able to get a decision quickly on their bridging loan without having to wait for authorisation from anyone else. And there's no back-tracking at a later date. So that means when we say yes to a loan, we mean it.

Our approach to business is summed up in two words, Clear and Simple. We believe that bridging lending is a straightforward business, all too often complicated by lenders with their lack of transparency and reliance on the small print. We work hard to make your dealings with us as clear and simple as possible.

Our Criteria

  • Principal Lender
  • 1st and 2nd Charges
  • London and South East
  • Residential properties
  • Bridging Loans from £100,000 - £10 million
  • Up to 70% LTV

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This old boy is worried about the block

By Matthew Anderson, director of Fincorp

One of the advantages of having a few grey hairs is having the experience to know how to read signals. In the short-term finance market this is particularly useful. Lending money is easy; it’s getting it back that’s the hard bit. Over the past three years bridging has really exploded – we’ve gone from a market under a billion pounds of gross lending a year to, some estimate, closer to £2 billion. Doubling the size of the market in three or four years under any circumstance is impressive. In an economy that has been only very slowly returning to recovery mode, it should be ringing some alarm bells.

Let me recap: short-term finance, in all its many and flexible formats, comes back to one basic principle, money at a price for a short period, secured on property. Bridging is not a long-term solution – it’s a quick and flexible fix suitable for professional property players who understand the commercials. The reason it’s seen an explosion in popularity is two fold: the high street banks stopped lending on anything other than vanilla deals in the residential, commercial and buy-to-let markets leaving a gap for bridgers to fill; and, with interest rates static at 0.5 percent since March 2009, investors have been hunting for yield.

Bridging fulfils both sides of the equation. Without it, small-scale residential developments, auction purchases and refurbishment projects would have been left undone. Investors have also reaped good returns, in the region of 10 to 15% annually – a far cry from high yielding bond rates around 6%. And they have the security of an asset underlying the transaction.

But those grey hairs and years of experience lending in this market are telling me to think twice about the success of bridging.

At the same time as we have seen the market more than double, we’ve seen a number of new players enter the market – from mainstream residential mortgage lending backgrounds, mortgage broking backgrounds and several from packager backgrounds. A diverse market place is a good thing for everyone – it encourages competition, drives up standards and drives down pricing for borrowers. These things are welcome. Less welcome is the mad dash for market share. This, I worry, is having the opposite effect. Rather than driving up standards, it could be encouraging laxer underwriting by some less experienced lenders.

It also seems to be encouraging some lenders to come up with ever-more ‘clever’ ways of selling their wares. It was ever thus that brokers and borrowers alike are seduced by low headline rates, and don’t seem to fully appreciate how large fees can contribute to the overall cost of a loan. The market is seeing rates come down month after month, and meanwhile, fees are edging up. Three years ago, lenders charging an arrangement fee charged 1%, used to pay the broker in the transaction. Recently I’ve noticed up front fees around 2%, and sometimes more.

Where is the customer in all of this?

Being an old boy on the block may, as some levy against us, mean we stick to our guns on criteria, the deals we’ll consider doing, and on our insistence that we won’t charge fees. It means our rates appear higher than others out there in the market – but as mentioned, that’s because we don’t charge fees. The cost to the borrower is often the same or better.

But being an old boy also means, frankly, we’ve been around the block – several times. Fincorp has weathered three severe property recessions. We’ve been lending short-term money to property professionals for more than 25 years. I know a market running away with itself when I see one. People are piling into bridging because they see a quick buck. The problem with quick bucks, is they are rarely sustainable.

Experience matters. I fear that our market, which has several very professional and experienced lenders in it, has become riddled with people out for themselves. There is increasingly too much money going to too many people in the chain. Being an old boy on the bridging block means I care that an overcrowded market competing too savagely for business, that frankly shouldn’t be done, doesn’t bring the block crashing down around our ears.

Bridging offers value to customers and value to the health of the property market more generally. We must be careful not to wring it within an inch of its life.