Chester based Specialist Motor Finance (SMF) has made an appointment to the senior role of business development manager with the company.

Jim Cowell joins SMF following seven years at Moneybarn where he worked in a deal management capacity, liaising with both finance brokers and car dealership groups.

At SMF he will take responsibility for helping the nationally-operating business to continue its growth within the non-standard car loans sector via brokers and dealers.

Cowell has had a near 20-year career in the financial services industry. Prior to Moneybarn, he worked for six years as an account manager at Welcome Finance.

SMF recently announced an additional funding injection of £110m to satisfy rising demand for its HP advances made to credit-challenged car buyers.

The company currently employs around 75 people, including a department tasked with ensuring that brokers and dealers can be assured of the regulatory compliance of its lending products.

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Managing director David Challinor said he was delighted that SMF’s clients would now be able to benefit from the expertise and knowledge which Cowell is bringing to the company. He also confirmed that additional senior appointments, are likely to be made over the coming months.

Cowell, who lives in Cosham near Portsmouth, will be engaging principally with brokers and dealers based in Southern England.

According to SMF, car buyers in the UK are more careful on meeting their borrowing capacity, increasingly choosing vehicles priced below their maximum loan amount.

SMF will be reducing the minimum available loan for advanced car purchases by 25% as a result of the findings. Vehicles costing £3,000 will now be funded, offering customers the chance to build in an extra safety margin to their repayments.

“I think we are witnessing a reluctance among some customers not to take their borrowing to the limit, even when this has already been set at a realistic level,” said Challinor.