That’s why Steve Moore, director of TLC, believes that his role is to make the process of securing funds for his clients as straightforward and painless as possible.
‘We arrange loans for everything from, for example, £500 for the purchase of a new bike or a holiday, up to several million to undertake a property development,’ Mr Moore explained. ‘We believe that the service we offer is unique; we try very hard to make it fit the intended purpose and make a project work. Large loans can be structured to suit the client, for example the money does not necessarily have to be taken all in one go.
‘The client is, without doubt, the most important person in our business. Of course, as a business, we need to make money, but we are very competitive and aim to provide a “good-value” service. It is a philosophy that helps us to achieve a lot of repeat business with clients who are happy to use our services again and again.’
TLC, which now has six staff, was formed on 4 November 2014. Before that, Mr Moore was a director of Advisor Finance, having previously worked for Close Finance and Acorn Finance. His business partner, David Tupper, was a well-known figure at Acorn Finance.
Perhaps surprisingly for a man with an impressive history in the finance industry, Mr Moore’s early working experiences were far removed from the neat columns of figures and spreadsheets that concern him today. Born in Leicester, he moved to Luton at the age of five and ventured across to Jersey in 1984.
‘My father bred German shepherd dogs and he brought one over to the Island for a chap who lived in St Ouen,’ he explained. ‘I came with him for the weekend and just stayed.
‘To begin with I worked as a chef and I also ran pubs in the Island. I worked at the Wine Bar, in Bath Street, The Bond, which was for Le Masurier, and at The Don in the Parade, which was a Randall’s house. Then, in 1999, I decided to leave the hospitality sector and joined Royscot, which was part of the Royal Bank of Scotland. That company gradually metamorphosed into Acorn Finance.’
As with most businesses this year, TLC has not been immune to the adverse effects of the restrictions that were imposed to combat Covid-19.
‘We took a bit of a hit,’ Mr Moore acknowledged. ‘April and May were a particular problem, because no one was in the office.
‘But since then it has been really good, and we are flying again now. September was one of our best months.’
The loans underwritten by TLC cover a wide variety of areas, from property to vehicles to the marine sector.
‘We also arrange private finance which will typically be a loan from either an individual or company secured on a private or commercial property.
‘With bank deposits typically paying less than 1%, private individuals and companies are looking at alternative ways in which they can make their excess capital work for them,’ Mr Moore said.
‘Typically, our client will be looking for finance and, for one reason or another, will sit outside the main banks’ lending criteria. The principal types of loans are bridging and development. Loans can range from £100,000 up to several million.
‘The LTV (loan to value) will typically be a maximum up to 70%. However, on certain loans this can go as high as 85% LTV.
‘A marine mortgage, in simple terms, is finance secured on a boat. This will most frequently be for up to 70% of the boat’s value, with terms of up to ten years. With interest rates so low at the moment, a marine mortgage can certainly be a cost-effective way of owning your dream boat.’
Life for TLC, however, is not just about work. The company has a strong charity ethos and supports the Jersey Cheshire Home.
‘I worked for a while at the Highfield Country Hotel, in Trinity, which was owned by David Lord. He is heavily involved with the Jersey Cheshire Home and undertakes fundraising walks which we are happy to sponsor,’ said Mr Moore.
Away from the office, Mr Moore enjoys taking part in theatre and music. He is a member of The Harmony Men and performs with the St Martin’s Musical Society. His acting roles with the JADC may not require him to make a gushing speech at the Oscars anytime soon – he appeared as a shadow, before branching out to play a tree – but, as he modestly confesses: ‘I may not be very good but I do enjoy it.’
Back in work mode he stresses that, in these difficult and rather uncertain times, the main concern at TLC is to look after the clients and do everything possible to help them achieve their aims.
‘We realise that there could be hard times ahead in the UK when the current furlough scheme ends,’ he reflected. ‘We don’t yet know how this will affect the Island but, hopefully, it will not be too severe.
‘We know Jersey – that, after all, is our market – and we want to try hard to get the deal which fits well for the client. Providing a personal service is what matters most to us.’