UK asset-based lender Ultimate Finance provided more than £1.5bn to British SMEs during 2020, despite difficult economic conditions attributed to Covid-19, the specialist lender said in a press release.

Organisational highlights include record performances in asset finance, boasting a 30% growth in quantity of new asset finance facilities and a loan book of £64m, Ultimate Finance said.

In the bridging finance funding segment, Ultimate Finance registered 66% growth with a loan book of £65m. The firm also channelled £125m of new funding facilities to upwards of 1000 new clients.

Highlighting the firm’s resilience, John Levy, chief executive of Ultimate Finance, said: “Our team has clearly demonstrated it can adapt to change whilst continuing to deliver outstanding service and I am confident that as businesses navigate 2021, we will continue to do so.

“We are proud of the high service standards we have maintained despite the many challenges and will continue to strive for improvements in the areas that matter most to our introducers and clients – speed, flexibility, and the quality of our personal service enabled by technology.”

Through the Government’s Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), Ultimate Finance lent over £35m to British businesses struggling to stay afloat.

Levy continued:We are proud to have worked with our introducers and partners to provide funding and support to clients in a year like no other. Through our accreditation to CBILS we have provided facilities to businesses who may not otherwise have been able to secure the funding they needed to keep trading through the pandemic restrictions.”

With lockdown measures still in place, the firm has commenced 2021 with equally tough circumstances. Looking forward, Levy anticipates access to liquidity will “remain a problem for SMEs”.

Levy concluded: “Whilst the various Government support schemes have helped mitigate the impact of reduced income and pressured cashflow, we are committed to playing a vital role in providing the working capital needed to support the ambitions and recovery of many SMEs.

“We believe our core funding solutions of invoice finance, asset finance and bridging finance are extremely valuable tools to support businesses through this year and beyond.”