Paul Smee, the former chair of the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association (P2PFA) has been appointed chair of BCRS Business Loans – a not-for-profit business lender based in the West Midlands .
Smee (pictured) has taken over from Rob Hill, the previous chair of the ten-person board.
“I am delighted to be joining BCRS Business Loans as chair and relish the opportunity to be part of a rapidly growing organisation that continues to do so much to support the growth and survival of businesses that are unable to access finance from traditional lenders,” said Smee.
“I have watched BCRS’ progress with interest in recent years, especially during 2020 when it worked tirelessly to support businesses in the West Midlands that were struggling as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am very much looking forward to meeting the whole team in person when coronavirus rules allow and getting to know my fellow board members.”
BCRS chief executive Stephen Deakin praised Smee’s 20 years of experience leading British trade associations and working within social housing regulation.
“Paul brings a breadth of knowledge from across the financial services sector and is held in high esteem for his strategic thinking and regulatory mind set,” said Deakin.
“I know his standing and experience will be invaluable for BCRS.”
BCRS was established in 2002 to support businesses across the West Midlands region that cannot access finance from traditional lenders. It offers loans of between £10,000 to £150,000 to viable businesses.
“At BCRS, we believe in enabling viable SMEs to achieve their aspirations which, now more than ever before, is crucial in supporting the prosperity of the communities we serve,” added Deakin.
“Due to the way we are structured as a responsible finance provider, we are able to take a different, more supportive approach to our lending assessment.
“I look forward to working closely with Paul. He joins at an exciting time as we look to provide SMEs with the funding they require to kick-start growth plans and drive our economic recovery from the pandemic.”
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