23 September 2013CashFlows meets the governor of the Bank of England to discuss the financial challenges facing small businesses

CashFlows, the innovative Financial Services Company, lead a small group of alternative finance specialists, small business owners and industry journalists in a meeting with the new governor of the Bank of England's to discuss the financial challenges facing small businesses.

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England invited CashFlows to a private meeting to discuss our key concerns about the financial situation facing the UK's small businesses, outlined in an open letter backed by 15 signatories from small business owners and trade associations to small business journalists and industry commentators.

The open letter suggested the following recommendations for Mr Carney's first 100 days in office:

  1. Ensure better promotion of alternative financial service providers and support outlets - and encourage the FCA to review and recognise these new players
  2. Promote the return of direct relationship management between banks and businesses, encouraging continuous and personalised guidance relevant to a business' evolving needs
  3. Make the Prompt Payment Code legally binding
  4. Enforce transparency in bank charging and scoring structures
  5. Talk to 100 start ups in 100 days in order to better understand the needs of British small businesses and the support they require

During the private meeting, the suggested recommendations and the financial challenges faced by small businesses were discussed.

Neil Graham, CEO of CashFlows said: "We were delighted, along with the other signatories to the open letter, to be invited to meet with Mr Carney at the Bank of England."

"As a financial services provider and small business ourselves, we were impressed with Mr Carney's direct interest in the challenges facing UK business. The private meeting, which lasted an hour, explored many of the topical issues. He's an engaging and interesting man and has amassed a good grasp of the issues in a short space of time."

Jayne Oates, Head of Service Delivery at CashFlows added: "The meeting was extremely productive with Mark Carney taking a keen interest in our feedback and supportive of more competition in the market."

Commenting on the meeting, the governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney said: "I was pleased to meet with a number of start-ups and SMEs to discuss a range of issues they face as well as the potential role of new forms of finance."

"These companies play a significant role in the UK economy and there is no substitute for hearing directly from those who deliver economic growth."

Alongside CashFlows, other attendees of the meeting with Mark Carney included Dan Martin, editor of BusinessZone, Brian Jack, is4profit Managing Director of is4profit, representatives from alternative finance vendors - Conrad Ford, Managing Director of Funding Options and Nick Montague, Chief Executive of as well as Adam Ball, of creative connection website Concept Cupboard.

09 May 2013Specialist lender Shawbrook Bank announces underlying second year profit of £2.6m

  • £2.6m underlying profit generated in 2012
  • Exceptional increase in lending across all business lines
  • Deposits increased to £924m from £180m – a rise of 513%
  • The bank is well capitalised with a prudent liquidity position
  • An increase in the net interest margin from 1.6% in 2011 to 3.7% in 2012
  • Solid foundations established to support ambitious further increases in personal and SME lending in 2013

Shawbrook Bank has published its annual report and accounts for the year ending 31st December 2012. The bank broke even in May 2012 after only 16 months of trading. It went on to secure profit for each subsequent month of the year, resulting in an underlying profit of £2.6m for the year end, 2012.

March 2012 saw Shawbrook acquire Singers Asset Finance (now Shawbrook Asset Finance) to enhance its offering to SMEs.  The costs associated with this acquisition, alongside significant investment in infrastructure to support future growth, led to a reduction in the underlying profitability of £2.6m to an accounting loss before tax of £7.8m.

Each of Shawbrook’s specialist lending businesses, which support over 18,000 small business and personal customers, delivered strong growth in 2012.

  • Asset Finance grew by 7% to £348m
  • Commercial Lending grew by 437% to £201m
  • Secured Lending retained its market leadership position growing to £163m, up 267%
  • Consumer Lending grew from a standing start to £29m

Shawbrook supports its lending with a savings model that provides best in class products at attractive rates.  Shawbrook has built a well-diversified depositor base of over 22,000 personal and small business accounts with an average deposit in excess of £41,000.

Ian Henderson, Chief Executive of Shawbrook Bank, said: 
“Shawbrook has demonstrated the strength of its business model in the last 12 months. We’re proud to have increased our lending so significantly and to have shown a continual improvement in profitability as the business has grown.

“These positive results are just the beginning for us. When we launched Shawbrook we knew there was a desire in the market for a new kind of bank, offering common sense decision-making and fast, efficient systems. Our results reflect the significant demand that we have experienced from credit worthy SMEs and individual customers. After exceeding our targets in 2012, we are aiming to continue this trend with a significant increase in our lending to businesses and consumers in 2013.

“Our focus remains on ensuring that growth is delivered in a controlled manner, evidenced by the prudent way in which credit, capital and liquidity are managed.  Significant investment across the business has helped to support our rapid growth and these results go some way toward showing the impact we have made in the market. This demonstrates excellent progress for such a new bank in the market, and will pave the way for what will be a hugely successful 2013.”