SME-focused lender applies for £10m grant to bolster support for sector
Manchester-based peer-to-peer marketplace lender Assetz Capital has applied for a £10m grant as it continues to scale its SME lending at pace.
It made its application for funds from Pool E Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) which consists of £100m and is open to eligible bodies providing innovation financial services to UK SMEs.
The £100m was given back to BCR by Metro Bank (£50m) and Nationwide (£50m) for redistribution to new challengers to the banking sector, such as Assetz Capital.
The money was returned after the pair of lenders cancelled their growth plans in the SME funding sector.
Assetz Capital is the second largest peer-to-peer business lender in Europe and offers commercial mortgages and development finance.
In seven years since inception it has lent more than £1bn to UK SMEs, supporting more than 1,200 businesses and an estimated 100,000 jobs directly and indirectly.
It funded 3,000 new homes in both 2018 and 2019, which equates to one in 100 of new home starts in England and around one in 10 of all SME-built housing for the two years.
Chief executive, Stuart Law, said: “We’ve established ourselves to be a leading SME lender, serving the many underserved SMEs seeking loan funding.
“We have achieved that and are now ready to scale even further from the current high levels of activity.
“By December 2022 we’re aiming to have lent a further £1bn to SMEs, supporting around another 25,000 jobs and funding the development of at least 3,500 further new homes.
“We have a market-leading lending capability – combining human and technology-based credit assessment, innovative loan application technology and regional relationship directors to meet customers.
“This BCR grant, combined with a further £10m matched contribution from ourselves, would enable us to build on these strong foundations and grow even faster, allowing us to provide even greater support for underserved UK SMEs.”