UK SMEs to receive over £95 million funding boost as British Business Bank increases Propel’s ENABLE Funding facility
Propel, one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing independent asset finance providers, today announces two further financing tranches from the British Business Bank to add to its existing ENABLE Funding facility. The total facility will allow more than £216m of finance to be provided to SMEs across the UK.
This is now one of the largest facilities under the Bank’s ENABLE Funding programme, which aims to improve the supply of finance solutions for business-critical assets to smaller UK businesses.
Propel provides fast, flexible, and accessible asset finance to SMEs across the UK. Currently supporting approximately 40,000 customers, Propel provides hire purchase, leasing and refinancing support on equipment purchases from a few thousand pounds to more than £2m; and equipment types ranging from telecoms and technology to commercial vehicles and industrial plant.
Launched in 2014, the ENABLE Funding programme supports the Bank’s objective to diversify finance markets for smaller UK businesses. Providers of finance to SMEs often lack the scale required to access capital markets – a key source of funding for lending institutions – in a cost-efficient manner. The ENABLE Funding programme warehouses newly-originated finance receivables from different originators – bringing them together into a new structure. Once the structure has sufficient scale, it will refinance a portion of its funding on the capital markets, also helping small finance providers to tap into institutional investors’ funds.
Mark Catton, CEO of Propel, said:
“We’re proud to work with the British Business Bank to help support UK businesses across all equipment types. Our partnerships gives us reach into all sectors of the economy, and all types of businesses. The ENABLE Funding programme helps us translate that reach into fast and accessible finance for SMEs wanting to invest and grow”.
Reinald de Monchy, Managing Director, Guarantee and Wholesale Solutions of the British Business Bank, said:
“The British Business Bank developed the ENABLE Funding programme to allow access to cost-efficient funding from institutional investors for providers of finance to smaller businesses. By partnering with alternative and non-bank lenders, like Propel, we can give smaller UK businesses access to the asset and lease finance they need. The Bank remains committed to its objective to create a more diverse finance market, and we look forward to continuing to work with Propel and other non-banks to help provide even more funding options to smaller businesses across the UK.”
Hugh McNeill, Partner at Cabot Square Capital, said:
“We have worked with Propel since 2014. The company ‘promise’ is simple – being small enough to care, and deliver a brilliant service to their customers, and big enough to have the expertise and technology to be a leader in SME finance.
“These additional rounds of British Business Bank funding will enable Propel to continue doing what they do best – helping customers invest and grow by financing business-critical assets.”
Notes to editors:
Propel is a specialist asset finance lender, helping more than 40,000 businesses across the UK to access finance to acquire business-critical equipment quickly and easily. They are one of the leading vendor finance platforms in the UK, supporting equipment suppliers with lease programmes. The company delivers leading-edge asset finance solutions to drive business growth. All solutions are delivered through a personal, progressive and partner-orientated approach, harnessing a combination of teamwork, talent and technology.
The range of business assets which Propel finance is vast; and they provide business finance to a wide variety of sectors; ranging from Transport, Construction, Manufacturing, Agriculture, Leisure, Catering/Hospitality, IT and more.
Propel are committed to embracing the latest technology including their partnership with ASPIRE on the LTiCloud; supporting Propel’s customer-led and technology-driven growth initiatives. Propel have also launched ‘Propeller’, an innovative, automated new partner portal which replaced the company’s previous platform ‘HowApp’. ‘
In 2020, Propel partnered with Barclays Business Banking to give over 1200 relationship managers and a million SMEs access to their smart asset finance services to purchase business-critical equipment and vehicles. While Barclays already provides asset finance to larger businesses, the new partnership with Propel allows their Business Banking customer base to gain the benefits of their technology-driven and service-led asset finance service. This offering combines streamlined processing, rapid decisions and a seamless customer experience. In 2021 Propel also announced its partnership with Azets, the largest regional Top 10 SME accountancy firm, with Propel being its strategic partner for asset finance solutions to its 60,000 UK clients.
In 2020 Propel announced a landmark new partnership with Barclays, providing asset finance solutions to over 1 million SME customers across the country. Earlier this year Propel also announced its partnership with Azets, the largest regional Top 10 SME an accountancy firm, with Propel being its strategic partner for asset finance solutions to its 60,000 UK clients.
Over the last two years, Propel have won over 30 awards and invested significantly in its smart asset finance technology platform. Propel is majority owned by Cabot Square Capital LLP, a leading PE firm for financial services in the UK. It is also an accredited delivery partner of the British Business Bank’s ENABLE Funding programme.
For more information visit: propelfinance.co.uk
About Cabot Square Capital
Founded in 1996, Cabot Square Capital LLP is a leading provider of investment capital for small and mid-sized companies in the UK and Western Europe, with a particular focus on financial services, speciality lending and operating property businesses. It is a hands-on partner able to provide companies with capital for growth and acquisitions, assist management teams to build operations and infrastructure, develop intellectual property and enable strategic, long-term planning. Cabot is currently investing its fifth fund.
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 £7.9bn of finance to more than 93,000 smaller businesses. Between March 2020 and March 2021, the British Business Bank was responsible for running the government’s Coronavirus business loan schemes, delivering more than £79bn of finance to over 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 british-business-bank.co.uk
The investment from the British Business Bank to Propel does not amount to any endorsement or warranty from the British Business Bank, the British Business Bank plc, or the government of the UK.
The ENABLE Funding 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 Strategy.
 Figures as at 31 December 2020
 Figures as at 31 December 2020