Upstart bank Shawbrook hits profitability

SHAWBROOK, the fast-growing bank that services businesses unable to access funding from major lenders, today announced that it hit break-even after trading for less than a year.

“We are now making a small profit on a monthly basis,” interim chief executive Philip George told City A.M. “It’s good, solid organic growth with plenty of demand for all of our lending products.”

Shawbrook is one of a number of new banks, including Metro Bank and Aldermore, that have sprung up since the credit crunch, seeking to fill the funding gap left by bigger institutions which are scraping to repair balance sheets.

“The SME [small and medium enterprise] market is our biggest opportunity and is our biggest demand. These are prime customers who would have sailed to any other major bank a few years ago but for reasons with capital restraints they are having trouble,” George explained.

Shawbrook now has total assets of £850m – a four-fold increase since its launch in October 2011 – and has built a base of 18,000 loan customers and 18,500 savers. But this still pales in comparison to the major players in the sector.