Simplified Lending to restart consumer lending to employees of private companies, mixing cautious optimism with vigilance
One of the country’s fastest-growing financial services firms announced today it will re-start a consumer lending program to employees of private companies this week, a striking departure from the path the majority of larger banks have taken.
Simplified Lending Chief Operating Officer Laquel Miller made the announcement in a press statement.
“We at Simplified Lending believe that one of the most powerful ways to re-start, re-boost and re-energize the economy is to inject more money flowing through it,” said Ms. Miller. “The economy functions like the heart – the greater the circulation, the more efficient the output. Recognizing that, we at Simplified Lending have taken the bold step to be among the first to re-start consumer lending with very careful guidelines in place, but getting things moving and helping to build consumer spend and consumer confidence.”
Most banks and other lending institutions slashed or severely limited consumer lending, even with payroll deduction, when the attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19 resulted in a national lockdown that started March 17 and lasted nearly three months. With The Bahamas’ number one economic driver, tourism, still sidelined today and unemployment pegged at up to 40% in certain sectors, the economy has hit the stall button. While many professional offices have resumed operation, borrowing to buy a car, new furniture or appliances has been a particular challenge.
According to Ms. Miller, Simplified Lending saw an opportunity for the company to fill the void while serving the public and pumping more money into the economy, boosting sales for retail companies.
“We always strive to be leaders in what we do,” said Ms Miller. “In collaboration with our Group Risk Management team, we are able to find solutions to help people in a responsible lending manner. Based on our research, we are also cautiously optimistic that we will experience a gradual economic rebound based on our research. Our lending will be targeted at first and expand as conditions allow.”
Founded less than two years ago and staffed by a team of professionals who had years, even decades of experience with international and local banks, Simplified Lending grew exponentially, morphing from mortgage brokerage to a lender itself. It was one of a handful of firms selected by the government to administer the Small Business Recovery Assistance program and received impressive positive feedback on its handling of that program initiated in conjunction with the Small Business Development Centre.
“We believe that people need help now,” said Ms. Miller. “Given the uncertainty, we want to be there for our clients and community in the good and bad times.”
Simplified Lending was founded by Robert Pantry who spent more than two decades in commercial lending. Its head office is in Caves, West Bay Street, Nassau, with staff members positioned throughout The Bahamas.