The lending market continues to be difficult for SMEs, with recent research carried out by Cambridge & Counties revealing that businesses across Britain had 47,777 overdraft and loan applications worth as much as £2.5 billion rejected in H1 2012(1).
Gary Wilkinson, chief executive, said: “We’re thrilled with the banks’ progression and are delighted to play a part in an SME sector that is pivotal in re-energising the UK economy and leading the recovery.
“Many of these SMEs have their hands tied by bigger banks unable or unwilling to lend but to grow and be successful there needs to be access to finance for them.
“Our focus is on a local and personalised relationship approach consisting of business development managers focusing primarily on Cambridgeshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, coupled with a national broker coverage model. We believe this has appealed to a wider variety of smaller businesses in a difficult economy.
“We have been praised by customers acknowledging the speed and simplicity of our process and we are looking forward to playing a central role in helping to support local businesses going forward.”
Offering loans to local businesses such as retailers, hot food takeaways, public houses as well as loans to both commercial property landlords and experienced residential landlords, the majority of loan approvals made by the Bank go through within 48 hours.
Cambridge & Counties Bank provides SMEs with loans secured against commercial property as well as a business deposit account. It also offers secured pension scheme lending and has recently started to offer loans to residential property investors who can demonstrate knowledge and experience in this market. The bank also has plans to shortly launch professional firm financing as well as other savings accounts into both the retail and non-retail sectors.
The bank is jointly owned by Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund and Trinity Hall, a College of the University of Cambridge. They each own 50% of the bank.