Henry Howard Finance agrees £51 million facility with British Business Bank to increase provision of asset finance for smaller businesses

Press release 26 May 2016

Independent lender Henry Howard Finance today announces that it has agreed a £51 million asset finance facility under the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Funding programme. The facility, which is 50 per cent guaranteed by the European Investment Fund, will allow Henry Howard to extend its asset finance funding to a larger portfolio of smaller UK businesses.

Henry Howard, backed by investor Cabot Square Capital and based in Newport, is the first South Wales-based lender to become a partner of the British Business Bank. It has been providing finance to small businesses for over 20 years and last year it saw its lending grow to more than £70 million from £40 million. It aims to continue its expansion throughout 2016.

One firm benefitting from HHF’s asset finance solution is Caldicot Fleet Maintenance Recovery, who over five years tripled in size following the purchase of a number of new vehicles made possible by HHF’s support. It now has 50 heavy and light recovery vehicles up from just 6 trucks in 2011.

The British Business Bank is currently supporting over 1,100 businesses across Wales with over £110m of finance. The delivery of this facility through the ENABLE Funding programme will continue to build on past successes and help businesses across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to scale up and grow.

Every growing business needs to invest in the right tools to get the job done, whether that’s upgraded laptops or new delivery trucks. This £51 million facility backed by the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Funding programme and the EIF will allow small firms to get new equipment without taking a big hit to their cashflow. This means they can continue to grow, create jobs and benefit local communities across Wales and the rest of the UK. Sajid Javid Business Secretary
We are delighted to be working with the British Business Bank to boost much needed funding for SME asset procurement. Access to asset finance is a major barrier to growth for many small businesses. We hope the new facility will remove this barrier and allow more SMEs to grow and prosper. Mark Crook Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Henry Howard Finance
Henry Howard Finance has a proven track record in providing much-needed asset finance to small businesses and this facility will help it significantly increase its asset finance lending to smaller businesses across the UK. This is the third transaction in our ENABLE Funding programme which has now provided a total of £202 million to non-bank asset finance providers. Keith Morgan British Business Bank CEO
We are very pleased to see that our collaboration with the British Business Bank is working so well in supporting UK SMEs. This new EIF guarantee on the asset finance funding facility now brings the total finance available under the ENABLE programme to over £200 million, for UK entrepreneurs. In addition, we have recently further developed our collaboration with the British Business Bank by signing a new EC-backed guarantee transaction. Pier Luigi Gilibert EIF Chief Executive

The ENABLE Funding programme is delivered by British Business Bank Financial Services Limited – a subsidiary of British Business Bank plc – on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Further Information

Notes to editors

About Henry Howard Finance

Henry Howard Finance was set up in 1996. The business has focused on working with vendor suppliers and resellers to provide access to finance and equipment for SME businesses looking to grow or expand and needing access funds to acquire vital business equipment or services.

Henry Howard Finance Group has four business divisions: HH Cashflow Finance Ltd supports the growth of businesses by providing much needed working capital. HH Asset Finance provides access to funds to acquire or purchase equipment or business services. HH Vendor Finance works with equipment vendors to provide them with funding facilities and administration support. HH Retail Finance works supporting vendor partners in the shop-fitting and retail equipment market.

About the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Funding programme

The ENABLE Funding programme seeks to incentivise the provision of finance to viable UK companies by providing funding for smaller bank and non-bank providers of asset finance, many of which are unable to access cost-efficient funding from the capital markets.

Facilities will range from around £25m to £150m. The programme will aim to refinance the facilities through the capital markets when the receivables reach £300million or more.

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank makes finance markets for smaller businesses work better, enabling the sector to prosper, grow and build economic activity. Its objectives are to:

  • increase the supply of finance available to smaller businesses where markets don’t work well
  • create a more diverse and vibrant finance market for smaller businesses, with a greater choice of options and providers
  • build confidence in the market by increasing smaller businesses’ understanding of the options available to them
  • achieve this whilst managing taxpayer resources efficiently and within a robust risk management framework.

British Business Bank plc is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. The British Business Bank operates through a number of subsidiaries, including British Business Financial Services Limited. Neither British Business Bank plc nor British Business Financial Services Limited is authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). British Business Bank plc and its subsidiary entities are not banking institutions and do not operate as such.

About the EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance.

EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. More information on the EIF’s work under the EFSI is available.