Propel, a leading specialist UK asset finance provider, and Azets, a UK accounting, tax and business advisory firm and the largest SME regional practice across Europe, have announced the formation of a strategic partnership. 

As a result of the alliance, thousands more SMEs will be able to gain access to fast and flexible asset finance to acquire the equipment and vehicles they need to drive growth and prosper, Propel Finance said in a statement.  

Propel has a 25-year history and has supported over 40,000 business customers, including a large number of Azets’ clients, with asset financing. Azets has over 120,000 customers globally and offers accounting, tax, audit, business and advisory services for businesses digitally and at their door. 

Propel’s proprietary technology platform ‘Propeller’, underpins the commitment from both partners, according to the statement. 

In October 2020, Propel partnered with Barclays in a deal to provide one million SME customers with access to asset finance. 

In a statement the two announced that Barclays’ UK wide network of 1,100 relationship managers would connect directly with ‘Propeller’, Propel’s online portal, which offers quick credit decisions of up to £100,000 for SMEs banking with Barclays. The partnership would allow businesses to be able to make equipment purchases of up to £2m, with funds often released within 24 hours.

Propel is majority-owned by Cabot Square Capital LLP, a PE firm for financial services in the UK. The company is also an accredited delivery partner of the British Business Bank. 

Mark Catton, chief executive of Propel Finance plc, said: “I’m delighted Azets has chosen us as their strategic partner for asset finance, working closely with their teams and clients around the UK to finance investment in capital equipment. 

“Azets is one of the largest accounting, tax and business advisory firms in the UK, with an outstanding and rapidly growing SME regional practice. We’re proud to be able to offer our services to Azets’ clients. We know that SMEs are incredibly important to the recovery and vibrancy of the UK economy and we’re here to support businesses needing or wanting help to invest and grow. Azets stand out for their passion for local client service and we want our own offering to complement that really well.”