The announcement by the bank, which launched in June 2012, has been further reinforced by the fact that the bank is on course to meet its initial four year lending target in less than two years.
Of the 100 lending cases so far, around half have been refinancing loans; a service traditionally offered by conventional banks, a source that has dried up for many SMEs as capital from mainstream banks has been squeezed.
Cambridge & Counties have been pleased to have been able to support a wide variety of industrial and commercial sectors with secured property loans which have enabled its customers to expand their product offerings, increase overseas trade and create jobs in their locality. CC Bank continues to structure its products to meet the long term as well as short term needs of its customers, reflecting the bank’s long term vision of support for British industry and commerce.
Gary Wilkinson, Chief Executive at Cambridge & Counties Bank said: “SMEs account for the vast majority of UK businesses and the UK’s economic recovery relies heavily on the ability of these firms to grow. Over the past couple of years, however, many SMEs have their hands tied by bigger banks unable or unwilling to lend. Our popularity shows that there needs to be more activity from alternative lenders. We have already lent around £40m and are on course for our book to hit the £100 million mark by the end of this year.
“We are immensely proud of our achievements in our first year and believe much of our success is down to our local and personal relationship approach. This includes our business development managers focusing primarily on our heartland regions of East Midlands and East Anglia. We then combine this with a national broker model which allows us to maintain a balanced growth across geographies, market sectors and property types, avoiding inappropriate concentration risk.”
Paul ffolkes Davis, Chairman at Cambridge & Counties Bank, commented: “This is a strong endorsement of the success of our business model and a reflection of the scale of demand among high quality SMEs whose growth aspirations have been frustrated by a lack of access to finance. Mainstream banks have been too pre-occupied with capital and legacy issues which are having a negative impact on their ability to lend. Cambridge & Counties Bank has been able to help fill that gap.”
Offering loans to local businesses such as manufacturers, retailers and restaurants as well as loans to commercial property investors and experienced residential landlords, the vast 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 range of highly competitive business deposit accounts. In addition, 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 launch other new loan and competitive savings products to other key customer groups over the coming year.
Cambridge & Counties Bank has a unique structure being 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, which has a strong management team led by chief executive Gary Wilkinson who has held a number of senior roles in the banking and building society sectors.