Cambridge & Counties Bank, a UK provider of asset financing, has been granted a £20m Tier 2 capital facility by British Business Investments (BBI).

In a statement, the BBI said funds raised from the facility will enable Cambridge & Counties Bank to increase its volume of competitive lending to smaller businesses over and above levels it might have otherwise been able to provide.

The investment has been made through BBI, a wholly-owned commercial subsidiary of the government-owned British Business Bank. One of the aims of the BBI is to increase the supply and diversity of finance for smaller businesses across the UK by boosting the lending capacity of a range of finance providers. 

Since it was established in 2014, the BBI has committed more than £3.3 billion to providers of finance to UK smaller businesses, according to a press release. 

The British Business Bank has been supporting Cambridge & Counties Bank since 2018, with a £100m guarantee through the ENABLE Guarantee programme, renewed in March 2023.

Leicester-headquartered Cambridge & Counties Bank specialises in providing lending and deposit products for smaller businesses. It was established in 2012 and lends to smaller businesses to invest in their own commercial premises, and to experienced commercial and residential property investors. 

It also provides finance for smaller businesses to acquire essential assets such as equipment, plant, machinery, or vehicles, using hire purchase and finance lease facilities.

Judith Hartley, CEO of British Business Investments, said: “At British Business Investments, our mission is to increase the overall supply and diversity of finance for smaller businesses across the UK. This £20m Tier 2 facility to Cambridge and Counties Bank supports that mission and will help more smaller businesses across the UK access the capital they need to grow.’’

Andrea Hodgson, Chief Financial Officer of Cambridge & Counties Bank, said: “When we were established in 2012, our aim was to create a responsible and competitive lender which had all the hallmarks of a traditional, customer-centric bank but one combined with the speed, efficiency, and innovation of a contemporary and agile institution.

“Last year, our loan book passed £1bn for the first time, almost all of which was lent to our valued SME customer base. We greatly value our long-standing relationship with the British Business Bank and are grateful to it for its latest investment in our new Tier 2 issuance programme. As we progressively draw down on this, we will deploy the additional regulatory capital to further support our UK SME client base with their own financing and growth ambitions.”