The British Business Bank has agreed to provide a £51m (€65.3m) facility to UK finance provider LDF, to fund a portfolio of newly originated small business asset finance receivables.

The transaction, which is 50% guaranteed by the European Investment Fund, was the second of the British Business Bank’s ‘Enable’ funding programme, which aims to increase significantly the supply of leasing and asset finance to smaller businesses in the UK.

It followed a £100m facility provided to Hitachi Capital UK in October 2015.

Peter Alderson, managing director at LDF, said: "LDF are delighted to be working with the British Business Bank on this exciting initiative. Access to finance, particularly for asset procurement, remains a critical barrier to success for many smaller businesses and making this more readily available is something that we are fully behind.

"We already deliver significant support to this sector, providing over £40m of finance in January alone. With strong ongoing support from our shareholder, Cabot Square Capital, and our recent acquisition of asset finance specialist, First Independent Finance (FIF), we have very ambitious plans for growing our presence in the SME market."

Reinald de Monchy, managing director, Wholesale Solutions at the British Business Bank, said: "We now have provided two facilities totalling £151 million and we anticipate further transactions throughout 2016. Our intention remains for these facilities to be refinanced through the capital markets once we achieve a required critical mass of circa £300 million or more."

A few months ago Alderson and Allan Ross, managing director of First Independent Finance (FIF), spoke to Leasing Life about LDF’s acquisition of FIF.