The U.K.-based independent finance provider 1pm is opening new facilities for the group’s loan division to enable it to better serve small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the company announced on Tuesday (Nov. 26).
The AIM-listed company also increased its secured medium-term note (MTN) program from £7.5 million to £25 million. An additional £5 million was earmarked for the group’s loan business, which was previously established with long-standing funders.
Aside from the MTN program boost, the division negotiated with existing funding partners for a £5 million increase to its block discounting facilities.
“I am delighted that the group has further strengthened its relationships with a number of key block discounting funding partners as well as reaffirming and significantly expanding the MTN program,” said James Roberts, chief financial officer.
He added that the company now has “sizeable funding facilities in place across all our divisions,” which allows it to extend a variety of “cash flow solutions to the U.K. SME market.”
First established in 2017 through LGB Corporate Finance, the MTN program offers loans to institutional, wealth management and private investors. The funds raised will be used to meet SMB loan demand and provide the flexibility for the division to finance additional products and acquisitions.
Roberts pointed out that this new announcement follows its extended £37 million facility with NatWest in March. In addition, last year the firm formed a £35 million partnership with British Business Bank.
“Given the wider macroeconomic uncertainty, our partners’ desire to support and work with us, and to provide larger and more flexible facilities, is extremely pleasing and reflective of the group’s reputation within the industry as an ambitious and growing business,” Roberts said.
These new borrowing facilities match the terms of the lending facilities extended to U.K. SMBs. The funding amortizes over the length of the loan, which is typically three years. This matching policy “is a key element of the group’s risk management and governance.”
U.K. regulations have been working to elevate business banking competition and expand access to capital for corporate and SMB borrowers. The Bank of England released new data in September warning that business bank lending in the country hit its lowest rate in nearly two years in July.