ThinCats to provide up to £300 million additional funding for UK businesses through British Business Bank’s ENABLE Guarantee programme

Press release 27 September 2021

ThinCats, a leading alternative lender, will utilise a guarantee provided by the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Guarantee programme to deploy significant new funding capital. Citi, a multinational investment bank and financial services corporation, will provide ThinCats with a senior warehouse facility. This, allied to the guarantee provided under ENABLE, will support ThinCats in its efforts to lend up to £300 million of funding capital, enabling it to fund more mid-sized SMEs.

This is the first transaction under the ENABLE Guarantee programme to facilitate lending for term loans to smaller businesses from an alternative lender with a bank as a senior funder.

The new funding line will be used by ThinCats to support lending outside the Recovery Loan Scheme, for which it was recently accredited by the British Business Bank. In total, ThinCats now has more than £500 million of lending capital to deploy over the next year or so.

The ENABLE Guarantee programme is designed to encourage banks and other lenders to increase their lending to smaller businesses by reducing the amount of capital or junior funding required for such lending. Under an ENABLE Guarantee, the UK Government takes on a portion of the risk on a portfolio of loans to smaller businesses, in return for a fee. When working with non-bank financial institutions, this typically aligns with any senior funder.

We are currently seeing high levels of demand from mid-sized SMEs to fund organic growth opportunities and for larger merger and acquisition transactions. The provision of this new funding is well timed to support businesses with their post-pandemic growth plans. SMEs are a critical sector of the economy and rightly deserve support via the British Business Bank ENABLE programme. ENABLE does what it says on the tin; in this case enabling alternative lenders like ThinCats, working alongside banks, to provide bespoke lending at scale to support UK businesses. Ravi Anand MD ThinCats
The ENABLE Guarantee programme was set up to increase funding to smaller businesses by making it more attractive for banks and other financial institutions to lend to this part of the market. We are delighted to be involved in this innovative partnership with ThinCats to the benefit of smaller businesses across the UK. Reinald de Monchy Managing Director, Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions, British Business Bank

Further Information

Notes to editors

About ThinCats

ThinCats is an established alternative lender dedicated to funding SMEs with business loans from £1m up to £15m using pioneering data, personal relationships and a pragmatic lending process. ThinCats’ progressive approach has already enabled SMEs to borrow more than £1 billion.

ThinCats is the trading name of a group of companies owned by ESF Capital Limited.

About the British Business Bank

The British Business Bank is the UK government’s economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to drive sustainable growth and prosperity across the UK, and to enable the transition to a net zero economy, by improving access to finance for smaller businesses. Its remit is to design, deliver and efficiently manage UK-wide smaller business access to finance programmes for the UK government.

The British Business Bank’s core programmes support over £8.5bn1  of finance to almost 95,000 smaller businesses2 . Between March 2020 and March 2021, the British Business Bank was responsible for running the government’s Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering £80.4bn of finance to 1.67m businesses.

As well as increasing both supply and diversity of finance for UK smaller businesses through its programmes, the Bank works to raise awareness of the finance options available to smaller businesses. The British Business Bank Finance Hub provides independent and impartial information to businesses about their finance options, featuring short films, expert guides, checklists and articles from finance providers to help make their application a success. In light of the coronavirus pandemic and EU Exit, the Finance Hub has expanded and it now targets a wider business audience. It continues to provide information and support for scale-up, high growth and potential high growth businesses, but now provides increased content, information and products for businesses in survival and recovery mindsets. The Finance Hub has been redesigned and repositioned to reflect this, during this period of economic uncertainty.

British Business Bank plc is a public limited company registered in England and Wales, registration number 08616013, registered office at Steel City House, West Street, Sheffield, S1 2GQ. It is a development bank wholly owned by HM Government. British Business Bank plc and its subsidiaries are not banking institutions and do not operate as such. They are not authorised or regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) or the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). A complete legal structure chart for the group can be found at

The guarantee from British Business Bank to ThinCats does not amount to any endorsement or warranty from the British Business Bank plc, or the government of the UK.

The ENABLE Guarantee programme is managed by British Business Financial Services Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of British Business Bank plc, on behalf of, and with the financial backing of, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial.

  • 1

    Figures as at 31 March 2021

  • 2

    Figures as at 31 March 2021