Shawbrook bank has acquired hire purchase and leasing lender Singers Asset Finance as it looks to extend lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
The efforts of lenders to SMEs has come under scrutiny after the contributing banks in Project Merlin failed to meet planned lending commitments.
Shawbrook, a new business bank chaired by former RBS boss George Mathewson, was launched in October 2011. It was formed by the mergers of Whiteaway Laidlaw Bank, Link Loans and the lending division of Commercial First.
Mathewson’s Shawbrook is owned by a special opportunities fund created by RBS. However the part-nationalised group has only a 13 per cent holding.
Singers has been purchased from the administrators of Icelandic lender Kaupthing. The lender was acquired by Kaupthing before it collapsed in 2008.
Mathewson, chairman of Shawbrook Bank, comments, ‘Singers is a strong, successful business, and by joining forces we will be extending our offer to SMEs and giving customers access to the experience and knowledge within both of our lending teams.
‘Since we launched Shawbrook Bank we have seen huge demand for loans from SMEs, and by adding asset finance solutions to our lending offer we can help even more small businesses to grow.’
Richard Pyman, chairman and CEO of Singers Asset Finance, will remain in his current roles.
He adds, ‘We knew from the outset that Shawbrook would be a natural match for Singers.
‘Both businesses are focused on making it easier and more straightforward for SMEs to borrow, and we are united in our desire to provide traditional, straightforward lending.’