Newport Asset Finance Firm to Receive Over £95 million Funding Boost

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Newport based Propel, one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing independent asset finance providers, has announced 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 smaller businesses across Wales and the UK, making it 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.

Over the last twelve months Propel has secured 662 deals across numerous sectors within Wales; and funded a total value of £18.176m to Welsh businesses. This is an increase of almost 4% in funding over the same period in 2019-2020, despite the onset of the pandemic.

Launched in 2014, the ENABLE Funding programme supports the Bank’s objective to diversify finance markets for smaller UK businesses. Providers of finance to smaller businesses 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 Welsh and UK businesses across all equipment types. Our partnerships give us reach into all sectors of the economy, and all types of businesses. The ENABLE Funding programme helps us translate that reach into accessible finance for SMEs wanting to invest and grow”.

Mark Sterritt, UK Network Director, Wales at 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 businesses in Wales access to the asset and lease finance they need.”

Hugh McNeill, Partner at Cabot Square Capital, the majority owner of Propel 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.”