The British Business Bank has announced Hitachi Capital as the first accredited lender for its new asset finance variant of its enterprise finance guarantee (EFG) programme.
Hitachi Capital is also the first provider to be accredited for the EFG programme since 2013.
The programme facilitates business loans to SMEs that are viable, but unable to obtain finance from their lender due to insufficient security or not having a track record to meet the lender's normal requirements.
EFG provides lenders such as Hitachi Capital with a government-backed 75% guarantee against the outstanding facility balance, potentially enabling a 'no' credit decision from a lender to become a 'yes'.
The new asset finance variant of the EFG programme will allow accredited lenders to offer asset-finance options to a wider range of SMEs with the potential to grow.
“This new variant is a major development of an established core product for the bank, enabling the provision of additional asset finance, a vital funding option for smaller businesses looking to grow, expand and create jobs,” said Bernard Skivington, director of wholesale solutions at the British Business Bank.
“Having access to EFG to support critical investment in business assets through leasing or hire purchase provides a significant opportunity for many more viable smaller businesses to realise their ambitions.”
Hitachi Capital is already a partner of the British Business Bank's ENABLE funding programme, which has allowed the lender to provide almost £240m of additional finance to around 3,100 smaller businesses.
“Being the first funder to be part of the EFG scheme for asset finance is a great privilege and we are confident that it will enable us to unlock access to asset finance for British businesses and support their development and growth in the future,” said Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director of Hitachi Capital Business Finance (pictured above).
“This is another positive example of how we can work closely with the British Business Bank to open up lending to the UK SME and our plan is to fulfil at least £25m of funding under this scheme over the next 12 months.”
The British Business Bank's EFG programme has supported the provision of close to 28,000 business loans to a value of over £2.9bn.
The bank worked closely with the asset finance sector to create the new variant, which was welcomed by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA).
“Having worked very closely with the bank to help develop this facility, we look forward to seeing the availability of much-needed SME funding boosted in this way,” said Simon Goldie, head of asset finance at the FLA.
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