View more on these topics

One to One: Colin Bell, managing director of commercial mortgages, Hampshire Trust Bank

Hampshire Trust Colin Bell 2015

The three things that introducers and customers really want, the importance of top-quality staff and a keen interest in food provenance

Hampshire Trust Bank has just entered the bridging sector. What are your aspirations for this class of business?
During my many years in this industry I have learned that introducers and customers want three things – service, certainty and product – and these are my aspirations at Hampshire Trust Bank. These three values are at the heart of everything we do as a team and they apply as much to bridging as to commercial and buy-to-let, where service is a major requirement.

What can brokers expect from Hampshire this year?
Hampshire Trust Bank is here to be a true specialist bank in an underserved sector. We are putting experienced, service-driven, motivated and respected people behind all of our processes at every level.

I firmly believe – and this view is echoed by my exec colleagues – that, if you build a business around good people whom you respect, motivate and treat well, overall success and delivery comes naturally.

What you will see this year is a bank committed to SME lending – committed to developing and delivering specialist lending with common-sense, people-based lending decisions.

As a child, what was your dream job?
I wanted to be a helicopter pilot. While I didn’t achieve it as a job, I did learn to fly helicopters when I was in my 20s, so I kind of ticked that one off.

Do you have any secret talents?
If I told you, it wouldn’t be a secret any more. So I will give you three interesting facts/talents, two of which are true and one is not:

  • I keep honey bees in my downtime with help from my family
  • I was spotted and offered a place in the Austrian National Youth ski team when I was eight years old, so I could have been the third Bell skiing competitively, and
  • I can conversationally speak five languages.

What is the best advice you have received?

I have carried this advice with me since the start of my management career: my role is to create and maintain an environment that allows everyone to succeed, and by doing so the business will always be successful.

Who is your all-time hero, and why?
I tend to take my inspirations from snippets of things I see or hear and often they come from people who are not famous. I do not have an all-time hero but I do have a large collection of inspiring moments in my life that make me who I am today.

If you were not in your current role, what would you be doing?
Through my love of food, I have developed an active interest in food provenance and in making things from local ingredients.

My family and friends have often said I would make a good chef because I love cooking, while owning and working a farm would also be high on my list. Both are hard work with a lot of commitment, which is the environment I work best in.


Year established: 1977
Address: 131 Finsbury Pavement
London, EC2A 1NT
Tel:  020 7862 6200

Hampshire Trust Bank plc was established in Fareham, Hampshire, in 1977 and acquired in May 2014 by a new management team with the backing of Alchemy Special Opportunities Fund II LP. It operates under the trading name of Hampshire Trust Bank.

It is a specialist challenger bank, focused on financing commercial customers. It specialises in asset finance, commercial finance and property finance, while also offering personal and business savings accounts.



One to One: Jeff Knight, head of marketing, Pepper Homeloans

Building up a young business, the importance of listening to brokers and a stash of song compositions just waiting for an international audience What are your plans for Pepper this year? The lending part of the UK business is still young, having launched in 2015. I joined in January 2016 with a view that much […]


One to One: Rob Clifford, group commercial director, SDL Group

Reasons behind a major rebranding strategy, the future for good-quality networks and how a magic wand would be put to good use You recently rebranded Shepherd Direct as SDL Group. What was the thinking behind it? Shepherd Direct was simply the name of our group holding company. Components of our group have operated since the […]


One to One: Ray Boulger, senior technical director, John Charcol

Winning the MS Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award, changing the regulatory process and having a political hero Congratulations on your recent Outstanding Contribution to the Industry award from Mortgage Strategy. What are you most proud of in your career? When I joined John Charcol as a consultant in 1989 I gained huge satisfaction from […]

Jeremy Wood Dudley Building Society

One to One: Dudley Building Society chief executive Jeremy Wood

The importance of building societies to certain groups of consumer, a healthy attitude to dealing with the negative aspects of any job, and a Welsh rugby hero What challenges and opportunities do building societies face this year? The challenge comes from the new banks. The opportunity? Well, if they can do it, so can we. […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Why register with Mortgage Strategy?

Mortgage Strategy continues to be the market-leading B2B mortgage publication in the UK, and provides trusted, independent insight with the aim of helping, promoting and analysing the latest developments for mortgage professionals.

News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

Mortgage Strategy Events
Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, webinars and more.

Research and insight
Take part in and see the results of Mortgage Strategy's flagship investigations into industry trends.

Have your say
Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

Register now