Cambridge & Counties Bank releases £100M to SMEs & becomes profitable in first year

The fastest growing challenger bank in the UK is now set to continue delivering profits on an on-going monthly basis. It is also on course to meet four year lending targets in just two years, and will release over £100 million of loans to SMEs by the end of the year.

Since launch the Bank has completed over 180 loans totalling around £70 million to SMEs and now also looks after 1,500 SME deposit accounts.

Cambridge & Counties Bank has 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 trade and create jobs in their locality. The 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: “We are delighted to have reached profitability in just over a year and are now growing at the fastest rate of any challenger bank in the UK. This is the result primarily of the recruitment of experienced, high calibre staff, who live and breathe the brand values and ethos of this bank on a daily basis. It is also due to the establishment of a lean, efficient cost base, particularly important considering that our performance has been achieved alongside the delivery of a brand new and complete IT infrastructure.

“SMEs account for the vast majority of UK businesses and the economic recovery relies heavily on the ability of these firms to grow. We believe much of our success is down to our local and personal relationship approach, mainly via our business development managers. The combination of this with a national broker model allows us to maintain a balanced growth across geographies, market sectors and property types, avoiding inappropriate concentration risk. Our popularity and success shows that there needs to be more activity from new and alternative lenders.”

Offering loans to local businesses such as manufacturers, retailers and restaurants as well as loans to commercial property investors and experienced residential landlords, the majority of loan approvals made by the Bank go through within 48 hours.

Lending is funded by the Bank’s competitive range of business deposit accounts, which has proved attractive to businesses looking to generate a decent return for their money. Indeed the Bank has also received excellent feedback from its savers by providing simple, value for money accounts, without complex product features that could catch customers out.

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 per cent 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.