Challenger bank provides SMEs asset-based lending

Challenger bank Secure Trust, has launched an asset finance arm to give small to medium enterprises a range of asset-based lending solutions, managing director of business and commercial Paul Marston has said.

“Our customers can benefit from fast decision-making and transfer of funds along with local advisers – as well as the support of a major financial institution.”

Customers can buy and refinance physical assets, including plant equipment, commercial vehicles and machinery. Hire purchase, lease finance and refinancing are part of the proposition.

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The challenger bank has appointed finance company Haydock Finance as its authorised representative for hire purchase and lease solutions. This will give it access to Haydock’s range of asset financing services, and help it to strengthen its offerings.

Steve Worrall, Haydock’s managing director, said: “While the partnership is mutually beneficial, it is completely unique in our industry and provides Secure Trust with proven systems and resource so that it can quickly establish a presence in the market.

According to the Asset Based Financial Association, the take-up of asset finance by SMEs increased substantially in recent years, with 2014 figures showing a 14 per cent increase on the previous year to £25.4bn, the strongest annual rate of growth since the onset of the financial crisis.

David Penny, managing director of Somerset-based Invest Southwest, said: “Lots of bad behaviour has happened in the banking sector because there was a small number of powerful providers. So more providers and more competition in the banking sector is a good thing, as long as consumers are protected.”