Shawbrook to ramp up lending after buying asset finance firm

SHAWBROOK, the new business bank chaired by former RBS boss Sir George Mathewson, is set to grow this year after snapping up an asset finance business from the administrators of Icelandic lender Kaupthing.

It has bought Singers Asset Finance, a major provider of finance to NHS trusts and small and medium sized enterprises, which did not enter administration and has been trading well. Richard Pyman will continue to run Singers.

Now small business lender Shawbrook hopes to increase total lending to more than £700m by the end of this year.

After the deal, which was announced today, Mathewson said: “Singers is a strong, successful business, and by joining forces we will be extending our offer to SMEs and giving customers access to the experience and knowledge within both of our specialist lending teams.”

As RBS chief executive Mathewson presided over the £20bn acquisition of NatWest in 2000 before stepping down a year later. His stint as chairman ended in 2006.

He retirement was untarnished, in contrast to that of his successor, Fred Goodwin, and he made a comeback in October last year when Shawbrook was set up as part of a rash of openings in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

Shawbrook is owned by a special opportunities fund created by RBS but in which the part-nationalised group holds only a 13 per cent stake.

Shawbrook, Metro and Aldermore hope to challenge the dominance of Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and RBS.