Cambridge and Counties Bank completes record £328m gross lending

Cambridge and Counties Bank completes record £328m gross lending

Cambridge and Counties Bank has issued £328m of gross mortgage lending for 2023, a record for the specialist lender and up 6% on the previous year.

Cambridge and Counties Bank said this highlighted its support for SMEs, entrepreneurs and professional property investors in Britain.

The lender said its asset finance business was “growing rapidly”, with record customer intakes and new book growth, resulting in a 17% increase in exposures to £83 million.

These loans are intended for businesses to acquire essential assets such as machinery and vehicles.

Financing for the purchase of classic, vintage and sports cars increased by 18% to £51 million.

Pre-tax profits rose 44% annually to £40.9 million, while customer loans increased 5% to £1.10 billion, and customer deposits increased 5% to £1.15 billion.

Cambridge and Counties Bank’s workforce increased by a tenth to 225 employees, with the company maintaining a combination of “good cost control and income growth”. This led to the cost-income ratio falling from 44% to 37%.

A focus on service and excellent products

Donald Kerr (depicted), CEO of Cambridge and Counties Bank, said: “In 2023 we continued to execute on our strategic priorities with the aim of becoming the UK’s specialist SME bank of choice. Our relentless focus on service and product excellence, as well as a committed, relationship-based approach to the market with both clients and commercial finance brokers, we firmly believe, will result in continued growth as business confidence begins to recover.

“We recognize the challenging economic conditions and continue to closely monitor the potential impact on our clients, but our business model and financial strength throughout the cycle allows us to continue to support clients through the deployment of experienced bankers who provide in-depth support where necessary. ”

The lender also achieved B Corp certification in June. To become certified, a company must achieve a B Impact Assessment score of 80 or higher and pass an in-depth risk assessment. Cambridge and Counties Bank scored 92.8, which it said outperformed the UK banking sector in terms of impact on the environment, customers and people.

In August, the lender also agreed to a £20 million Tier 2 capital facility from British Business Investments to increase the volume of lending to smaller businesses above the level it might otherwise have been able to offer.

Patrick Newberry, chairman of Cambridge and Counties Bank, said: “We went into 2023 knowing it was going to be difficult and unpredictable. However, by leveraging the bank’s strengths – strong customer and broker relationships, good credit risk and delinquency management, and smooth deposit collection mechanisms – we were able to navigate the stormy waters and deliver results to our clients. Both real estate finance and asset finance delivered excellent performance due to the continued forensic focus of our frontline teams.

“While it is true that interest rate movements during the year have worked to the benefit of the wider banking sector, it is not a given that banks’ profitability will increase in times of rising interest rates. Action is always needed to capitalize on opportunities.”

Shekina is deputy editor at Mortgage Solutions and commercial editor at Mortgage Solutions and Specialist Lending Solutions. She has nearly eight years of experience in the B2B publishing market, having previously worked in the hospitality, retail, pet, accounting and jewelry sectors. Shekina has been working for Mortgage Solutions and Specialist Lending Solutions for almost five years. Here she covers the latest market news, engages with industry professionals and oversees all commercially agreed content in partnership with mortgage related companies. This includes presenting webinars and hosting roundtable discussions on developing themes in the mortgage sector. She is an NCTJ trained journalist and was nominated for the 2021 Headline Money Awards Mortgage Journalist of the Year. In her spare time, Shekina enjoys reading, traveling, listening to music and chatting with friends. She currently reports on current events in the mortgage market and liaises with financial clients to produce sponsored content. Follow her on Twitter at @ShekinaMS