Meet the team: Peter

What is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?
I founded CCBS in 2014 after a number of roles working for financial institutions predominantly in the asset-based lending space. The role initially was to help North East entrepreneurs and business owners navigate the new funding landscape that had arisen after the banking crisis of 2008. The commercial finance brokerage element quickly moved to a little more than that, where we provide support to businesses around cashflow processes and often being a sounding board to clients who need help on strategic business decisions

What is your specialism in the team?
Other than running CCBS as a business, which takes more and more time as we grow, I mostly focus on all matters working capital finance. I have a lot of experience over the years, in corporate finance and corporate recovery transactions, which tends to help clients and professional intermediaries on deals.

What is a typical day like for you at CCBS?
The beauty about CCBS is that there isn’t a typical day, but it will consist of working on existing transactions with clients and intermediaries and looking for new ones too. That, interspersed with the nitty gritty of running the business and strategic planning, and supporting the team as best I can pretty much fills the time.

What do you do in your spare time?
I used to play a lot of rugby and cricket back in the day but I’m confined to watching those sports now. My real passion now is golf and I really enjoy playing socially and competitively in weekly competitions at Close House Golf Club where I’m a member. Other than that, spending time socially with my family and friends and also travelling.

Have you ever played golf naked?
Only once before and it was so cold the head fell off my mashie niblick.

If you weren’t Managing Director at CCBS, what job would you be doing?
Well if I had my choice I would be in a band, probably a lead singer and/or lead guitarist. On the basis I can’t play the guitar and I’m a dodgy karaoke singer at best then I think this was never going to be a reality, so realistically I think I would have been an insolvency practitioner as it’s the easiest job in the world.

What is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?
I’m a Debt Recovery Specialist so I support and improve collections processes for companies across all industry sectors. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, working for asset-based lenders and accountancy firms.

What is a typical day like for you at CCBS?
I visit customers onsite to secure and back up all the information and documentation relevant to maximising recoveries then head back to the office to complete a full assessment of recoverability of the Sales Ledger. This includes pulling together a detailed report highlighting best and worse case scenarios with cashflow recovery forecasts and reconciliations.

What do you do in your spare time?
I have two boys aged 13 and 11, and a 3-year-old cocker spaniel called Stanley. I’m mostly a Mam Taxi to their hobbies and clubs like karate championships and swimming! I like pilates and yoga and my husband and I have a property management and holiday let business which takes up a lot of spare time too.

If you weren’t Debt Recovery Specialist at CCBS, what other job would like to be doing?
I’d like to be a professional sleeper and food critic (just for the grub)!

What is your role at CCBS and how did you get here?

My role is Relationship Development Director. I lead client engagement and retention at CCBS, supporting the team to maintain and develop their relationships with existing clients and nurturing my own client relationships. This includes initiatives such as the monthly client newsletter and events throughout the year. My focus is very much on our clients, I work for them and try to find them the best deal I can – the funders are very much part of what we do but our job is always to find the right funder for the client and their situation.

Prior to joining CCBS Group in May 2023, I spent 36 years working for NatWest in various roles, and that is where I first met Peter and Matt. In the last 20 years at the bank I was a Relationship Director, very similar to what I do now, but it has been great to work for an independent small business here in the North East and build some really strong relationships across the sector.

What is your specialism in the team?
I don’t have a specialism as such, but I do like looking at trading businesses who are looking to grow and need funding to assist this growth.  That could take the shape of asset finance, invoice finance or indeed growth capital. The interesting thing is that working for CCBS Group allows me to look at a much wider suite of lending products than I was ever able to do in previous jobs. For example at NatWest I would bring in an asset finance colleague to support on a deal, whereas at CCBS I am doing that in conjunction with a funder.

What is a typical day like for you at CCBS?
I will start with what a typical week looks like as I now don’t work on a Monday or a Friday, so my working week is Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  I will let you work out the acronym. The theory of reducing your working week sounds easy although the reality is a little different especially having worked full time for over 35 years.  I am well organised and that is a key thing that you need when reducing your working week.  I still check emails on a Monday and Friday so that when I get to work on a Tuesday, I know what needs to be done.  I don’t want to spend the first hour of Tuesday wading through emails.  A typical working day involves coming into the office – I do not want to do my job sitting at home on my own – there is too much to learn and I couldn’t do it there. I always try and have at least one meeting per day with either clients, intermediaries, or funders. The rest of my time is spent progressing deals.

What do you do in your spare time?
Now I have a little more of that, my plan is to spend some of that with Helen (my wife) as she doesn’t work on a Friday and riding my bike (on a Monday when Helen is at work). I must admit that I have become a fair-weather cyclist during the winter and need to get my act together and get back on the roads and tracks. I have some cycling targets (ride 100km a week and more than same week last year) and I am ahead of both.

Have you ever tried cycling naked?
Only in the garage (door shut) BUT had to wear my shoes to clip into the pedals. So – not 100% naked.

If you weren’t the Relationship Development Director at CCBS, what other job would you like to be doing?
When I was little (believe it or not I was once) I wanted to be an astronaut.  Obviously, for a number of reasons that wasn’t going to happen, and I realised that quite quickly. Over the years I have spent a lot of time playing sport (mostly rugby) and coaching (football). The latter for the last 10 years and predominantly because my son played for the teams that I have coached. I really enjoy coaching (even U18s) and do think that I would have liked to have gone down that route as a career albeit that ship has sailed.

You can contact Steve to discuss any finance queries or situations by emailing or calling the office on 0191 211 1450.

Did you know that there are grants available for businesses across the North East open NOW – from support with capital expenditure and creation of jobs, to setting up apprenticeships and installing EV charging points – that you could apply for?

Find out more below and contact us for further information:


If you would like more information on any of these opportunities, contact us on 0191 211 1450 or email
Hi Rachel! Welcome to the CCBS Team!

What was your first day like?
The team at CCBS are so engaging and fun. I already feel like I have worked with them for ages! There really is a lovely energy in the air…plus I have already got an invite to the Christmas party!

How do you take your tea? *makes notes for tea round*
I like my tea white (weak) and coffee black (strong) – two coffees on a morning as a minimum!

Tell us more about your role at CCBS and what you will be doing.
I will be reaching out to SMEs across manufacturing, energy, renewables and green industries and helping them to grow sustainably by accessing the right funding solutions through CCBS, as well as getting advice and help with sourcing investment. I am hugely passionate about the North East, having spent many years working with and supporting SMEs in the region, so being able to now support CCBS in putting down firm roots in the Tees Valley and Durham is just amazing.

What are you looking forward to most about working at CCBS?
Being able to help businesses grow is what I am passionate about. Supporting CCBS in their next phase of growth and working with an amazing team is really exciting, and also being able to help SMEs in the region access the right funding solutions and helping them grow is the icing on the cake!

How would you describe what CCBS do in three words?
Problem-solvers, financial-matchmakers, solutions-focussed (is adding a hyphen cheating?!)

What are the types of business challenges that CCBS can help SMEs overcome?
As I mentioned earlier, having worked with SMEs for a long time now I have seen the pain points and supported SMEs in bridging many gaps, however, funding challenges is nearly always at the top of the list. Here are a few of the challenges I have recently heard from companies:

If this is you, we can help! Contact us today – with no obligation – you never know where it could lead.

Finally, it’s coming up to Christmas – what’s on your list?
When you have a 7-year-old and 9-year-old, its more about their lists than mine! But spending the valuable time together is priceless (although if you do see my husband tell him that big diamond ring is still on my list!).

We’re pleased to announce the appointment of Rachel Chambers to lead expansion of our services in Tees Valley and Durham.

With over 15 years’ experience in senior positions predominantly in the energy, transport and engineering sectors, Rachel joins the CCBS team in its tenth year supporting North East businesses with innovative financial solutions.

Peter Cromarty, Managing Director at CCBS Group, said of the appointment:

“We have always worked with businesses and intermediaries in Tees Valley but we want to make a bigger commitment to the region – working with Rachel to put down firm roots, open an office and expand the level of support we can provide to businesses in the area. Rachel’s passion and drive to create opportunities for SMEs and help them to grow sustainably and strategically aligns perfectly with what we’re all about here at CCBS, and her experience in advanced manufacturing, green energy and renewables will allow us to help even more North East SMEs over the coming years.”

Rachel was the driving force behind the setup of the Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Advanced Manufacturing (CESAM) in the North East and led work on the Driving the Electric Revolution Industrialisation Centres (DER-IC), working with industry to grow UK Power Electronics, Machines and Drives manufacturing capability, capacity and competitiveness.

She said:

“I’m thrilled to be joining the CCBS team to help drive their operations in the south of the region. There are so many exciting things happening in the Tees Valley and Durham area and we know that we can help businesses to maximise these opportunities and catalyse their future plans by opening doors to funding, advice and contacts. The CCBS team are so friendly and incredibly knowledgeable and well-connected – I can’t wait to see what we can achieve together.”

Renewing a company vehicle or buying additional commercial vehicles can be a big burden on top of everything else you’re juggling day-to-day…

Things to consider…

We can take that weight off your shoulders and source your vehicle/s and arrange finance tailored to your business, just tell us what you need or want, and we’ll source the vehicle and share the potential finance options with you.

We recently helped…


If we can help your business with vehicle finance or sourcing, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team using our form or email

So Graeme, what is Invoice Finance?

Invoice Finance is a product used to help maintain cashflow, it provides advances of up to 90% of a company’s debtor book – what customers owe you essentially – which provides you with a long-term cashflow solution. And as we all know, cashflow is critical for all businesses, at all times!

What are the benefits of invoice finance?

There are a lot of benefits – so many that it’s even overtaken overdrafts as the working capital solution of choice for many businesses and funders. For example, the only limit to the funds you can access is the total of the invoices you exchange – not like strict caps on bank loan lending policies. That means the product grows as your business grows, meaning it can provide a long-term solution. It can also nurture business growth as you’ll have a steady flow of cash rather than waiting for invoices to be paid before the funds are available, or banks to make lengthy funding decisions – so you can continue to build your business without any delays.

What types of businesses can access invoice finance?

It can really be used by any sized company from SME through to enterprise-sized businesses and there are even specialist IF providers which can support niche companies or specialist industries. For example, some lenders offer construction or contractual sector-specific lends to support businesses in certain sectors or with complex business models or financing.

What else can Invoice Finance be useful for?

It can also be used to support CapEx, acquisitions or buy-outs, or event-drive finance too. So if you’re going through a change, and you have concerns about its impact on your working capital, invoice finance can be a good solution to explore.

Can you tell us about a recent invoice finance deal you’ve been involved with?

It’s not a one-size-fits-all landscape so it’s really critical that you understand what will be required to implement Invoice Finance, what the risks are, and which funder can best meet your needs. We recently supported a longstanding client who was expanding operations into Australia after two successful expansions in the US and Canada. We found a global funder who could support them with a £200,000 Invoice Finance solution that gave them the cashflow headroom to drive forward their plans.

How can business owners find out more?

If this strike a chord with you, definitely get in touch with us. We can find out about your specific situation and give you honest guidance as to whether IF is the right solution for you, or whether something else would be a better fit for your circumstances.

Business Protection is not something that we generally talk to clients about (and not products that we offer) but following a recent meeting the whole topic of Business Protection came into much finer focus.

Some food for thought…

Key Person Insurance

Ask yourself – how many key people are in your organisation and how would the business be impacted if it lost a key person or worse still key people? Would this cause you an issue?

If the answer to that question is yes, then please click here for advice from our trusted partners.


Income Protection

Ask yourself – statutory sick pay is £99.95 per week for a maximum of 28 weeks. If you were unable to work, could you survive on that amount.

If the answer to that question is no, then please click here for advice from our trusted partners.


Business Loan Protection

Ask yourself – have any individuals provided guarantees for business borrowing? If the answer to that question is yes, then please then please click here for advice from our trusted partners.


Private Medical Insurance

Ask yourself – Might health insurance improve the wellbeing of your team and reduce absences?

If the answer to that question is yes, then please click here for advice from our trusted partners.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) was a lifeline for businesses during the pandemic, providing much needed working capital.  However for some businesses CBILS is now causing headaches when seeking additional finance or refinance due to the security issues that arise with CBILS facilities.

Lenders that have secured loans against a business’ assets – such as through an all assets debenture – may be unwilling to release the security when the business seeks additional funding. This means that businesses may find it difficult to obtain additional financing or refinance existing facilities, potentially jeopardising their growth prospects and long-term sustainability.

As financial professionals and business owners, it’s essential to understand the security issues surrounding CBILS loans and the impact this has on businesses. While there’s no easy solution, exploring alternative financing options or negotiating with lenders could be a viable option for some businesses.

One potential step forward is the ability to transfer CBILS loans between financial institutions. While this is not currently possible, it’s something that could be considered in the future to help businesses access the finance they need while maintaining existing security arrangements.

In the industry, we must work together to find solutions that support the growth and success of our clients. This may involve exploring alternative financing options, negotiating with lenders, or advocating for changes to the CBILS scheme to enable loan transfers. By doing so, we can help businesses navigate these uncertain times and emerge stronger on the other side.