Folk2Folk has announced plans to team up with the legal profession with its launch of a national Legal Panel. The Legal Panel will form a national network of law firms to support the company’s local secured lending model as a central part of its national expansion programme.
Folk2Folk offers a simple and approachable way for people in business to access interest only funds and a unique opportunity for people to lend within their local area whilst benefitting from a great interest rate. This model has helped mobilise money in the countryside and reenergised many small businesses that would have otherwise lacked the necessary investment to develop. Rather than using the judgement criteria of banks, Folk2Folk takes a different and holistic view of the Borrower assessing each case individually. As businesses continue to struggle to secure finance from the banks, Folk2Folk provides a refreshing and friendly alternative.
Built upon traditional values, the company has enjoyed huge success since its inception in 2013, growing to become a leading lender to rural business and introducing more than £81 million of lending from local investment. Cumulative volume of lending increased 100% in 2015 from £40 million to £80 million. The company has supported businesses and facilitated millions of pounds of investment by introducing lenders to borrowers in various industries. The success in the South West is an indication of the strong demand for a different and people focused service such as Folk2Folk.
Fundamental to the success of Folk2Folk is the company’s focus on lending within communities – helping local money work for local people. The creation of a national Legal Panel will enable Folk2Folk to expand nationally while maintaining its traditional values and local focus through a network of local law firms. Panel law firms will carry out the legal work necessary to complete loans in their locality and provide Folk2Folk with local knowledge as part of the security process.
The Legal Panel is a fundamental part of Folk2Folk’s wider national expansion strategy to develop an extensive and wide reaching group of professional networks; focusing on regions where demand is strongest, and extending its physical presence through an increased number of High Street branches.
The lending Folk2Folk has introduced to date has helped to deliver a broad range of projects including farm diversification, property development, equestrian centres, wedding venues, and golf courses. Lenders receive competitive returns on their investment and the security of a first mortgage, whilst at the same time supporting their local community.
Folk2Folk’s Chief Executive Officer, Jane Dumeresque, said: “Local lawyers are a crucial part of the effective workings of Folk2Folk’s business model. As we expand nationally, we are committed to maintaining our unique local focus. So at a time when other Legal Panels are being disbanded, we are shining the spotlight on local law firms and actively seeking to recruit them to our Legal Panel. Local community knowledge and expertise is paramount to the success we have seen so far and we are looking forward to teaming up with local law firms to continue that success across the country.”
Folk2Folk is currently recruiting law firms to join the Panel and is seeing strong interest from the legal profession. Folk2Folk expect many more firms from across the country to sign up to the Legal Panel over the coming months.