Paragon’s Commercial Lending division doubles new lending
Paragon’s Commercial Lending division has doubled new lending in the past year with every product line showing strong levels of growth.
Asset finance and development finance led growth within the division, the Q1 trading update to 31 December 2018 reveals.
Acquisitions of property finance company Titlestone and legal finance firm Iceberg have also delivered on growth potential for the award-winning specialist lender, which serves SMEs in the UK.
Paragon Banking Group reported a 41 per cent increase across all business lines to deliver GBP661 million of new lending in the first quarter of 2019. Commercial Lending reported the highest levels of growth across the Group, to achieve a 105 per cent increase in lending to GBP212 million, compared to GBP103 million in the same quarter last year.
That was helped by a 56 per cent increase in lending by asset finance to GBP93 million, compared to GBP60 million in the same period last year. That volume includes GBP19 million from Iceberg, which joined Paragon in December 2017. Like-for-like asset finance growth was 27 per cent.
Development finance reported a 451 per cent year-on-year increase in lending with GBP79 million of new business written in the quarter. That is in line with the GBP321 million of new advances achieved by the combined Paragon and Titlestone teams in the year to September 2018.
Elsewhere in the division, motor finance increased lending by 25 per cent to GBP36 million and structured lending brought in over GBP3 million of business in the quarter.
Richard Doe, Managing Director for Commercial Lending at Paragon, says: “These results show further progress and strong growth for the Commercial Lending division and our recent acquisitions of Titlestone and Iceberg are only helping to grow our business to new levels across asset finance and development finance.”
“As a specialist lender, Paragon is working hard to improve access to funding for British companies and SMEs and our increased levels of lending reflect this.”
The trading update also reported that mortgage lending grew by 22 per cent to GBP449 million, with buy-to-let advances up 24 per cent to GBP425 million. Paragon’s deposit raising continues to form the foundation of its funding programme, with savings balances exceeding GBP5.6 billion at the quarter end.