THINCATS marked a record year of lending in 2019 with the number of new loans almost doubling to £200m.
The alternative business finance platform, which focuses on medium-sized firms, said its loanbook is now at more than £580m.
“Despite the political uncertainty, UK businesses continue to invest for the future and we are delighted to have supported mid-sized small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with more than £200m of funding during 2019,” Amany Attia, chief executive of ThinCats, said.
“This is almost double our previous record of 2018.
“Having reviewed the UK SME lending market, we see a real need for our particular lending model dedicated to the ‘Ms’ of SMEs. These medium-sized businesses, while often well established, may not be large enough to gain the proper focus and attention from the banks, whilst their needs are too complex for the online only lenders.
“There is a genuine gap in the £1m – £15m space for a lender like ThinCats that understands the needs of these businesses and can offer a bespoke funding service delivered by regionally based origination and credit experts.”
Attia said ThinCats would focus on developing specialist services for private equity backed businesses and those in the healthcare and leisure sectors this year.
“These initiatives mean we can now offer even more competitive terms to the high quality borrowers in each of these segments,” she added.
“We will, of course, continue to provide a focus and first class service to businesses across all sectors.
“We have a strong pipeline of transactions for the first half of 2020, showing that UK businesses, perhaps, feel a bit more confident given some easing of the political deadlock surrounding Brexit, although the sooner there is greater clarity on the future trading relationship with the EU the better.”
ThinCats closed its retail P2P lending platform to focus on institutional funding at the end of 2019.
The business lender, which traded as ThinCats but is regulated under its registered company name of Business Loan Network, said no new loans will be offered on the P2P platform and it will be run-down and closed to new investors.
This caused some controversy as investors have been told they can no longer sell loans on the platform’s secondary market and those invested in ThinCats’ diversified portfolios will have to wait for their funds to mature.