We only use cookies for website functionality and security.


Find all the latest news, stories, insights and tips from Paragon Bank.

5 minutes with Claire Hildersley, SME Lending Business Development Manager 


What does a typical day look like for a Business Development Manager in our SME Lending division? We caught up with Claire Hildersley recently to gain an insight into her background, her day-to-day life at Paragon and the challenges her team have faced over the last 12 months.

What is your background prior to joining Paragon?

I have spent many years in the industry. My financial career started at First National Bank, followed by Siemens Financial Services and then I spent 16 years at Lombard.

How long have you been working for Paragon?

I have been working with Paragon Business Finance for three years this February.  I am proud to be working for an organisation that is constantly changing and moving forward. It's a very different business from three years ago and we have some very exciting times ahead.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

I work very closely with my Business Development Associate, Gail Bartlett. Each morning we discuss what deals have come in and what deals need to be paid.  Currently, I spend a lot of the day on calls as it’s important to keep in touch with your brokers.

What do you enjoy most about the role?


I enjoy working with my team. Everyone is very supportive and there is a wealth of knowledge and experience - and of course I love the relationships I have with my brokers. Usually communication would be with regular face to face meetings, although understandably in 2020 and going into the start of 2021 there is very little of that.

What are the challenges?

Obviously, the biggest challenge recently is Covid-19 and the whole of our Southampton head office working from home. However, people have adjusted extremely well.  I think what the past year has taught us is how much people can adapt.

How has your role changed this year due to Covid-19?


The whole team and company rolling up their sleeves to support other roles within the business and support customers through the pandemic.  That said, like the rest of the nation, I am looking forward to life and business as usual.


What is your focus for 2021?


To get out to see as many brokers as possible and to continue to support customers/brokers to grow business.


Why should brokers use Paragon?

As a business we are continuously streamlining processes, making Paragon easier to deal with and lots of positive changes will be happening soon. Each AFS broker has a dedicated Broker Manager and internal support. In my experience we are very good at refinance and deals that may have a story behind them.

Our SME lending success stories

Our SME Lending team have a successful track record helping support UK SMEs and small corporate customers, working with brokers and businesses from a range of market sectors.

“I’m incredibly pleased with how quick this whole deal was from start to finish.”
Jake Batham, Director at Crown Business Finance Ltd

“Paragon spend essential time getting to know clients and building relationships. This adds value to our partnership. The level of service we receive and that is received by our clients is remarkable.”
Alan Anderson, Director at TFS Finance

Read more about some of our customer success stories.

Paragon Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Registered in England number 05390593. Registered office 51 Homer Road, Solihull, West Midlands B91 3QJ. Paragon Bank PLC is registered on the Financial Services Register under the firm reference number 604551