Challenger bank Shawbrook hails pivotal year

SHAWBROOK BANK hailed 2013 as a pivotal year as the challenger brand reported a healthy profit and significant rise in lending to small businesses.

The bank said its rapid growth resulted in a pre-tax profit of £16.8m, a marked increase from an accounting loss before tax of £7.1m in 2012. Shawbrook also announced the acquisition of asset-based lender Centric Commercial Finance from Cabot Square Capital.

It said the deal will allow it to extend its offer for credit-worthy businesses seeking finance to grow and expand.

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Richard Pyman, chief executive of Shawbrook, said: “2013 was a pivotal year for Shawbrook.

“Our specialist lending teams have focused on delivering a quality service with an unwavering emphasis on human underwriting and simple, straightforward processes.

“The result is outstanding organic growth across the business in 2013, and a significant rise in SME lending. We are in excellent shape for future growth in 2014 and beyond.” He added: “The acquisition of Centric Commercial Finance is an exciting strategic move for Shawbrook.

“We can now offer SMEs a broader range of funding services to support their growth aspirations, and the move will enable Shawbrook to become an even more prominent business lending bank.

“Centric’s dedication to traditional customer service and tailored lending solutions fits very nicely with our own, and we have ambitious plans to grow the business under Shawbrook this year.”

Shawbrook said total lending at December 2013 stood at £1.4bn. The bank increased its deposit base to £1.46bn during the year. It has a total capital ratio of 17.3 per cent.

Shawbrook was formed in 2011 with the combination of Whiteaway Laidlaw Bank, the lending platform of Commercial First, and Link Loans.

It acquired Singers Asset Finance in 2012.