100% Finance: Our Approach

Seneca can offer 100% funding to developers. This means we will fund all costs (except taxes) and unlike some other lenders, we don’t take a slice of the profits.

In the following article, members of our team explain how we underwrite and deliver this market-leading proposition.


“When an enquiry is in its infancy, it’s crucial we find out as much as possible about the borrower. Our borrowers are our partners – our success is directly correlated with theirs; both parties need to get very comfortable with each other,” asserts Paul Fitzsimmons, our Relationship Manager. Seneca’s Head of Operations, Sharon Catterall adds, “We will look in detail at a developer’s track record. Our 100% product is only for experienced developers who not only have experience of the type of development they want us to fund, but also have experience of working with external banks and funders.”

A profitable scheme

A development must make enough profit to cover the costs of borrowing. Natalie Smethurst, Seneca’s Underwriting Manager, offers the following guidance; “We will typically provide 70% of a site purchase and 100% of development costs via our standard development finance offering, which usually costs between 1.1 and 1.35% per month. We then provide a mezzanine facility for the balancing 30% of a site’s purchase costs – a bespoke product priced according to risk. We model the cost of interest and fees over the loan’s term and as long as the loan (plus fees and interest) to gross development value ratio is less than 80% there is likely to be enough margin in the development for us to proceed.”

The right team

We will take a good look at the main contractors, architects and other key consultants on the build. Such parties take comfort from the certainty our funding provides, but all parties must accept that we’ll need to see robust contracts in place before we complete the loan as well as other legal documents such as collateral warranties. “For experienced developers and their main contractors and consultants, these requirements are very straightforward,” states Seneca’s Legal Services Director, Aziz Shan. Aziz adds, “my role is to act as the conduit between Seneca and the various key parties involved in structuring our loans. We work hard to iron out problems before a loan completes so all parties can proceed with confidence through the borrowing cycle.”


Seneca’s Business Development Director, Neil Farrar-Smith tells us about the importance of good working relationships with introducers: “Introducers who know us, know what we’d like to see,” states Neil. “Our top performing brokers will usually have taken the time to get to know their customers and their requirements, so when they introduce their clients to us, they know both parties will be a good fit for each other. It’s a competitive market and one in which lenders have to compete on deliverability arguably as much as on cost. Therefore strong, open partnerships are essential to writing good business. We maintain dialogue with the introducer at every stage of a loan’s journey from initial enquiry to completion and finally to redemption. Doing business with Seneca is a thorough and rewarding experience.”

For more information or to get a quick opinion on the viability of funding your scheme give our team a call on 01942 295 982 or send a quick note to enquiries@senecabridging.co.uk.