Investec Asset Finance has acquired Lombard North Central’s block discounting portfolio for an undisclosed amount.

Investec said the acquisition will broaden Investec’s footprint within the wider block discounting market. This in line with Investec’s strategy to extend its lending both organically and through acquisitions.

Virtual Lease Services Limited (VLS), Lombard’s incumbent portfolio manager, will continue to manage the portfolio on Investec’s behalf.

Investec is a major provider of block discounting, and have recently provided multi-million pound facilities to PCF Bank and Haydock Finance amongst others.

In 2014, they announced that after just under two years running their block discounting division they had funded £150m in aggregate with an average facility of £3m.

Ian Isaac, managing director of Lombard within the RBS Commercial & Private Banking Division said: “This is part of our continued efforts to become a more focused and sustainable bank for the future. We continue to work with Investec to ensure a smooth transition for customers.”

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Osian Rees, head of wholesale funding at Investec said: “We are delighted to acquire this portfolio from Lombard.  It demonstrates Investec’s commitment to financing SMEs through block discounting and complements our other SME lending channels.  We look forward to working with each of the underlying block counterparties and to growing our presence in this key market for Investec.”

Louise Ikonomides, managing director, VLS said: “VLS has worked closely with Lombard for over a decade as administration partner for its block discounting business. We are pleased to continue managing the portfolio and associated periodic audit, maintaining continuity for the borrowers and demonstrating VLS’s unique delivery qualities in an extended servicer relationship with Investec Asset Finance.”