A pension fund and a Cambridge University college have come together to launch Cambridge & Counties Bank, which is targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
A new bank has been launched which is looking to lend more than £100 million to SMEs over the next four years, secured against commercial property.
Cambridge & Counties Bank will also offer secured pension lending and a deposit account for businesses.
It will typically lend to SMEs with an annual turnover of less than £25 million and assets valued under this sum. Loans will be between £50,000 and £1 million.
The bank is owned by Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund and Trinity Hall, a college of the University of Cambridge. Each holds 50 per cent of the venture.
Gary Wilkinson, the bank’s chief executive, says there is a ‘real need’ for increased competition in the banking sector.
He adds, ‘By placing a significant focus on developing a partnership type relationship with our clients through being easy to do business with and by focusing on plain English and transparency, we hope to have a significant impact on our markets.’
The launch of the bank was welcomed by Mark Hoban, financial secretary to the Treasury, who said the government remained committed to fostering ‘more diversity’ in the banking sector.