Shawbrook Bank profitable less than a year after launching
By Hannah Jordan Wednesday, 08 August 2012
The new bank, officially launched in October 2011 to provide funding to SMEs, has hit break-even point, it has announced.
Set up through the merger of three small regional lenders - Whiteaway Laidlaw Bank, Link Loans and Commercial First - Shawbrook Bank launched with a pledge to loan £250m in 2012 to SMEs that were struggling to secure funding through traditional lending streams.
The bank, which is now on course to lend £320m this year, offers commercial mortgages and asset finance to credit-worthy SMEs in a range of sectors, particularly the leisure, retail, office and light industrial industries including printers.
Funding loans through savings deposits Shawbrook has loan assets of £600m and, including £750m in deposits, has total assets of £850m.
The figure represents a four-fold increase on the bank’s position when it was launched in October.
Shawbrook has so far built a base of 18,000 loan customers and 18,5000 savers.
Managing director of commercial lending at Shawbrook Stephen Johnson said breaking even so soon had shown that demand existed.
He added: "We launched Shawbrook last year knowing there's an appetite for a bank that offers straightforward, common sense lending.
"Small businesses are still underserved by the high street, and the print industry is no exception. There’s a real lack of credit available to businesses in this sector, and we’re working very hard to make it easier for credit-worthy SMEs to access finance when they are in a position to grow.
"We believe Shawbrook has a key role to play in offering SMEs and individuals more choice in their borrowing. There’s a growing desire in the UK for banks that are easy to deal with, transparent and professional."
Johnson attributed the bank's success to the rapid growth of the commercial and consumer lending arms of the business, good cost control and united ambition within the company. He said that distributing loans through brokers rather than operating a network of branches was also a contributing factor to Shawbrook's positive position.
"This has helped to keep costs low and ensures the loan application process is straightforward, efficient and free of big-bank bureaucracy," he added.
In March Shawbrook acquired hire purchase and SME lending specialist Singers Asset Finance, boosting its projected lending target.
Interim chief executive Philip George said that acquiring Singers had been "a huge milestone" for Shawbrok and had accelerated its growth and expanded its range of secured lending products for SMEs.
He added: "We have big plans for the future and will continue to offer straightforward products and an excellent customer service to support individuals and help small businesses to flourish and succeed." Tweet
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