Arbuthnot to enter SME market with Bank of England funding

Tim Wallace
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ARBUTHNOT Banking Group yesterday announced its plans to enter the asset finance and invoice finance business, aided by cheap funds from the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS).

The group, made up of Arbuthnot Private Bank and Secure Trust Bank, reported 64 per cent growth in underlying profits to £7.2m in the first half of the year.

The private bank’s loans increased 8.5 per cent to £307m, while its pre-tax profits hit £1m.

Retail lender Secure Trust Bank saw lending rise 40.3 per cent to £366m and profits grow to £6.2m.

The bank expects to draw down £10m to £20m from the FLS today, launching its entry into the small business lending market.

And it is setting up another loan referral programme with a major high street bank, where borrowers that do not meet the larger firm’s criteria are referred to Secure Trust.

“We would be disappointed if we do not get a couple of million pounds or more each month in new loans from this programme,” Secure Trust chief Paul Lynam told City A.M.