Assetz Capital backs UK SMEs with £370m of CBILS funding

Stuart Law

Stuart Law

Marketplace lender Assetz Capital has issued loan facilities totalling £370m to UK SME businesses through the government-backed Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS).

Funding for this CBILS lending has been led by Nordic finance provider Aros Kapital, an ongoing institutional funding partner to Assetz Capital.

Assetz Capital was accredited last year under CBILS to deliver property-secured commercial mortgages and development loans to SMEs, and in August announced Aros Kapital as a key institutional funding source. British Business Investments, a commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank, also provided funding for the CBILS lending.

Assetz Capital has provided CBILS loans to SMEs across the UK, with over 75% heading to the nations and regions outside London and the South East. This lending has included the funding of another 2000 new homes across the UK, helping maintain activity for SME housebuilders during the period of the pandemic.

SMEs supported include Forge Care, which faced losing the opportunity to develop a new facility in Warwickshire due to the pandemic. The CBILS funding has led to the construction of a ground-breaking childcare facility in Nuneaton which will be home to 20 children and has created around 80 jobs – with care being a sector of continued focus for the lender.

Another SME borrower, Olam Holdings, faced no longer being able to access funding for the development of five family-size houses in Warrington – but the finance from Assetz Capital allowed them to complete delivery of these new homes.

Aros Kapital is providing Assetz Capital with an ongoing commitment of funding as the UK comes into a recovery phase following COVID-19 and beyond, with the marketplace lender having applied to the government-owned British Business Bank to become a lender under its Recovery Loan Scheme. Along with other funding sources – including its retail investors – Aros’s ongoing commitment will support the continued growth of Assetz Capital’s lending to SMEs across the UK.

Stuart Law, CEO at Assetz Capital said: “CBILS has been hugely successful in getting funds to the SMEs that needed it. The pandemic hit many SMEs hard, but arming specialists like ourselves with a government-backed scheme was a solid strategy that has paid off.

“Our substantial track record has allowed us to attract institutional investors like Aros Kapital as long-term funding partners, meaning SMEs across the UK have an alternative to the banks when it comes to accessing finance. Our loan issuance run rate approached £700m annually in the pandemic and even though the CBILS deadline has now passed, together with our funding partners we plan to build on that level of support for SMEs based on a very healthy pipeline.”

Gustav Rocklinger, CEO at Aros Kapital Limited said: “We are delighted with our ongoing relationship with Assetz Capital and are looking forward to expanding our partnership. As evidenced by the pace of our deployment under CBILS, leveraging our joint underwriting capabilities, we believe that we are in a very good position to continue to deliver attractive financing solutions across sectors and at significant scale to UK SMEs.

“The UK SME market is a core growth area for our business and we will continue to build our market presence, in collaboration with Assetz Capital. Our backing of Assetz Capital’s CBILS lending programme demonstrates that commitment and showcases the strength of our capital base and ability to deploy this, quickly and with certainty to our funding partners.”

Assetz Capital has lent approaching £1.5 billion since inception in 2013, and funded around 1 in every 100 new homes for the last two years in the UK, and around 1 in 12 of all homes built by SME housebuilders.

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