EXCLUSIVE: Shawbrook’s billion pound plan

Nia Williams

November 1, 2011

Since the lender, formerly known as Whiteaway Laidlaw Bank, launched in April 2011 it has agreed finance in excess of £100m to SMEs and completed nearly £50m worth of secured loans.

Stephen Johnson, new business director of Shawbrook, confirmed the bank has raised £190m so far through its retail savings products and said he now plans to grow the balance sheet significantly in the next three years.

He said: “We think the opportunity now is vast because the main banks are challenged at the moment and there’s space for new, smaller and more agile banks to come along and provide some genuine competition and pick up some market share.”

Johnson said he was confident Shawbrook would hit its objective given the demand they had already seen from SMEs.

“It’s proven to us there is a ready demand out there for creditworthy businesses to raise finance,” said Johnson.

He added that just over a half of the business Shawbrook has done in the past six months was clients looking to buy new properties rather than refinance.

“I know market conditions are tough but I think that’s a pretty strong signal,” he said. “The outlook may be difficult but people are still looking to invest and grow their businesses.

“There are options out there for businesses needing finance. Not all roads finish at the high street banks.”

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