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John Hunter, Head of Banking and Fiduciaries Finance Isle of Man, had the opportunity to catch up with Zoe Hawley-Scott (Managing Director) and Aaron Hawley (Director) of Evoke.

What is Evoke?

Evoke is a licensed Isle of Man money lender, providing mortgages and equity release lending facilities to local individuals and businesses.

Evoke was established in 2014 by Zoe Hawley-Scott as an alternative money lender and mortgage provider.  Since this time, Evoke has sanctioned over £38m of mortgages to Isle of Man based borrowers.

Our passion lies in providing access to finance for local individuals and businesses.

Who are the people behind Evoke?

Evoke is wholly family run by Manx born brother and sister, Zoe Hawley-Scott and Aaron Hawley.  Inspired by our late Grandfather who was a career banker, we both left school to pursue a career in banking.  After many years gaining experience, understanding and qualifications in personal and commercial finance, we are proud to be able to follow in his footsteps. 

His pride, as with ours, comes from meeting with people, understanding their circumstances and providing financial guidance and solutions.  To be able to do so based solely on personal relationships and understanding of the Isle of Man is both hugely rewarding and beneficial to us and the island.

Where do you feel Evoke fits into the local lending market?

We strongly feel we sit alongside the local banks in terms of our importance to local borrowers and their access to finance.  We have solutions to propositions which might fall outside of the lending appetite or criteria of the high-street banks.

We liken our business to that of ‘old fashioned’ banking; that is, decisions made promptly, personally and locally, based on specific and individual circumstances.

Which assets can your customers borrow against?

We take a wholly holistic view and consider any viable borrowing request, though broadly some examples would be as follows:

  • Residential
  • Commercial
  • Investment / buy-to-let
  • Land / Development land
  • Self-build property / renovation

Who are your typical customers?

We certainly don’t have a ‘typical’ customer. Each enquiry or request has its own back-story and we take huge pride in working with our customers to understand and provide solutions based on their individual circumstances.

Over the years we have helped all nature of borrowers including individuals, first-time buyers, last-time buyers and retirees, new island entrants, the self-employed, builders and developers, self-builders, land-owners, investment and buy-to-let property owners.

We passionately believe that categorisation of borrowers should not exclude them from accessing finance and borrowing.

How has Covid-19 and its effects impacted upon your business?

It has been difficult for everyone all on island during this time and we feel grateful to live on a secure island where things have been, relatively, more controllable.

From the outset we have been supportive and understanding of our existing customers, offering terms and solutions to see them through difficult times.

We are now starting to see some of the financial repercussions of the pandemic.  In particular, the self-employed and those working in sectors where income has been affected, are struggling to access conventional mortgage borrowing.  Likewise, mortgage offers previously made have since been withdrawn, leaving borrowers in limbo.

We are proud to continue to support such customers.  As an island based business and lender we take comfort from the Isle of Man Government’s handling of the pandemic, which has seen a relatively swift return to a sense of normality.  We understand and see that the financial effects should be reviewed as an average, rather than as a ‘worst case scenario’ recurrence for years to come.  We stand ready to work with and help all such customers in a safe and sensible manner, as the island continues its recovery.      

What plans do you have for Evoke going forward?

We hope to continue to help local individuals and businesses achieve their goals, dreams and ambitions.  As a local, family run business we are able to adapt and tailor our offering to suit the needs and requirements of our customers and professional partners.

Our lending is driven by the requirements of our customers and so we are constantly reviewing and tailoring our lending products and facilities to suit.

Our long-term aim and wider vision for Evoke is to become the island’s local and primary mortgage provider.  Funded by Manx individuals, lending to Manx individuals, for the benefit of the Isle of Man, its people and its economy. 


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