Ultimate Finance lends record £1.4bn to small firms

By Roger Baird on Tuesday 29 January 2019

Alternative Lending

The small business lender said its bridging loan operations more than doubled in 2018.

Small business financer Ultimate Finance said it lent a record £1.4bn to small firms across the UK last year.

The Bristol-based business said its overall lending jumped 35 per cent in the year to December 2018, boosted by writing more loans across its operations.

It said its bridging loans more than doubled to £31m over the period, asset finance jumped 37 per cent to £46m, while invoice finance also increased by almost a quarter to £117m.

Ultimate, formed in 2002, is part of the Tavistock investment group, owned by British-Bahamas-based billionaire Joe Lewis, who also owns London football club Tottenham Hotspur.

Ultimate chief executive Ron Robson said he expected more growth in 2019, despite uncertain conditions posed by the UK’s scheduled departure from the European Union on 29 March.

He said: “With the new year well underway, we’re looking ahead to the next 12 months and despite the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit we remain committed to delivering another year of strong support in 2019 while continuously improving our customer service levels at every turn.”

The business also announced that it had added a new £60m asset finance facility backed by HSBC, this follows a £40m invoice finance facility it signed with RBS last year.

Ultimate became a Tavistock portfolio company in 2015, the investment group has stakes in more than 200 firms across 11 countries.

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