Peer-to-peer lender secures extra £25m from British Business Investments
British Business Investments (BBI), a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, has committed an additional £25m to Manchester-based Assetz Capital, the property-focused marketplace lender, in a boost to UK housebuilders and SMEs.
The additional funding is to deliver loans to SMEs under the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and is further to an initial £15m commitment in March.
The new commitment takes total funding from British Business Investments to date to £40m.
For Assetz Capital’s CBILS lending, Aros Kapital, the Nordic financing provider, is also participating and will be increasing its existing commitment.
Delivered through British Business Bank accredited lenders, CBILS is designed to support the continued provision of finance to UK smaller businesses (SMEs) during the COVID-19 outbreak.
As an accredited CBILS lender, Assetz Capital is delivering commercial mortgages and property development loans to eligible SMEs and housebuilders under the scheme.
The £25m commitment from British Business Investments for this CBILS-focused strategy will help Assetz Capital fund property-secured loans to SMEs that require financial support due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The existing £15m funding from British Business Investments has already contributed to supporting in excess of £85m of new lending to smaller businesses, including helping to fund the development of nearly 600 new homes across the UK by SME housebuilders.
Stuart Law, Assetz Capital chief executive, said: “We are pleased to have secured this additional funding commitment from BBI which will make a real difference to smaller housebuilders and SMEs across the UK.
“The institutional funding lines that we’ve put in place to deliver CBILS, and beyond, are significant, and is an indication of our ambitions to scale up lending to sustainable businesses, even through this difficult period.
“The future of the country depends upon the majority of our nation’s businesses surviving the COVID-19 impact and, hence, protecting the bulk of the UK’s employment. SMEs employ 60% of all private sector workers and the role of alternative finance in supporting those businesses and jobs has never been more critical.”
He added: “Rishi Sunak and the British Business Bank’s support for SMEs through backing of the alternative finance industry has been incredibly important. The roll-out of CBILS-approved lending beyond the big banks into the established alternative lenders like ourselves is a game changer for the breadth of economic support the country can receive in this and future crises.”
Judith Hartley, chief executive of British Business Investments, said: “It’s great to hear that the initial £15m commitment from British Business Investments has already supported the development of 600 new homes across the UK.
“This additional commitment of £25m to Assetz Capital supports our objective to increase the diversity and supply of finance for smaller businesses across the UK, whilst also providing much needed support to smaller housebuilders who have been impacted by the current crisis.”
Assetz Capital has lent more than £1bn since its inception in 2013 and funded around one in every 100 new homes for the past two years and around one in 12 of all homes built by SME housebuilders.