Record first quarter for SME specialist lender Praetura Group

Peadar O’Reilly

Praetura Group, the Manchester-based finance firm, said its lending division has seen a record-breaking start to the year.

Its lending offers SMEs an alternative to traditional institutional lenders, providing funds of between £5,000 to £20m.

During the first quarter, Praetura Asset Finance and Kingsway Finance have recorded their highest lending levels, lending more than £20.7m through asset finance and term loan facilities to SMEs across the UK.

Praetura Asset Finance has seen a 20% increase in the number of deals written in the first three months of 2022, including year-on-year growth of 48% in asset refinance facilities.

At Kingsway Finance, the funding provided largely centred around delivery of its Recovery Loan Scheme term loan facilities, assisting a 13% year-on-year growth in the number of deals written. This followed its accreditation to the scheme by the British Business Bank in 2021.

Praetura Commercial Finance (PCF), which provides asset-based lending solutions to SMEs, saw a 300% increase in new origination introductions in the first quarter of the year and provided funding totalling £16m, utilising a combination of invoice discounting, property, equipment and cashflow lending.

Total facilities provided by PCF to SMEs are now in excess of £130m.

After being founded by Praetura Group in the summer of 2021, Praetura Invoice Finance’s first quarter one period saw more than £4m of funding go to SMEs across a range of sectors including engineering, manufacturing, forensics, electric vehicles and even artisan spirits production.

More than half of the deals written included collaborative funding solutions with other companies within the Praetura Group’s lending division, combining invoice discounting and factoring with asset refinance and commercial loans.

In April 2022, Praetura Group further added to its SME lending offering when it announced the acquisition of Chester-based Zodeq, an invoice finance business specialising in the recruitment sector.

Peadar O’Reilly, managing director of Praetura Group’s lending division, said: “The range of businesses our funding is assisting across the whole of the Praetura Group continues to expand. The record figures are proof that our relationship-led approach to funding is valued by SMEs and the brokers and advisers we work in partnership with.”