New small business lender launches

Proper digitisation of business can satisfy corporate customers

Amicus Commercial Finance, a new commercial finance business specifically for the small business and professional services communities, has been launched by UK specialist lender Amicus.

The new lender will be led by John Wilde and David Hogg, who built SME Invoice Finance Limited from start-up in 2000 to a national firm with 80 staff and a 600-strong customer base, which was generating annual revenues of £12m when it was sold to Metro Bank in July 2013.

Amicus Commercial Finance will provide a revolving working capital facility powered by a proprietary funding platform, utilising smart technology and real-time data connectivity. It will focus on “providing relationship-based, intelligent cash flow to owner-managed businesses with annual sales of between £0.5m and £5m.”

“Large bank-owned subsidiaries are currently responsible for around 85% of small business lending but due to cost savings, many of them can no longer offer the type of localised, relationship-based service that is valued by smaller firms and professional services organisations,” said John Jenkins, chief executive officer (CEO) of Amicus.

He added that as many new entrants were focussing on larger businesses, Amicus saw an opportunity to provider high-touch customer service, innovative products and a transparent fee structure, powered by the latest technology, to smaller businesses. “The launch of Amicus Commercial Finance underlines our strategy of broadening our proposition into other specialist lending markets which are poorly served by mainstream lenders.”

Amicus itself focuses on short term, property-based lending to private and corporate borrowers, including landlords, developers and owner-occupiers. The firm recently completed a £100m short-term mortgage-backed securitisation, the first securitisation in the UK market made up entirely of short-term property loans.

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