"It is clear that the supply of finance has been very badly damaged by Covid-19 outside of the government schemes."
Business lender, Allica Bank, is launching a £100m funding round to help it meet current high levels of demand and continue broadening services and product lines.
The bank, which received full UK banking authorisation in late 2019, has reported over £1bn of enquiries from businesses in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. The new funding round will allow Allica to accelerate its lending to British businesses and also position it for any M&A opportunities that materialise in the non-bank lending market, which has been severely disrupted by Covid-19.
The announcement comes as Allica successfully completes a follow-on investment of £26m led by existing majority shareholder, Warwick Capital Partners.
A recent survey of commercial finance brokers, conducted by Allica Bank, revealed that 63% had seen a significant reduction to the supply of business lending following on from the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, 98% of commercial finance brokers are concerned about business lenders’ credit appetite and liquidity over the next two years.
Richard Davies, CEO of Allica Bank, said: “Established small and medium sized enterprises will be vital to the recovery and health of the UK economy, but it is clear that the supply of finance has been very badly damaged by Covid-19 outside of the government schemes.
"The time is now for Allica to scale up its operations to meet this business funding gap, bringing a blend of human relationships, deep lending expertise, and digital disruption. Together with potential acquisition opportunities of non bank lenders impacted by the pandemic, we intend to create the leading SME challenger bank for the decade ahead.”