Specialist asset-based lender Ultimate Finance provided funding of more than £500m to UK SMEs in the first quarter of 2023, with new business volumes up 12% on last year and 320 new facilities announced.
Highlights from Q1 include:
- Working capital new business up 25% on Q1 22 as the demand for invoice financing solutions grows alongside a steady upward trend in existing facility utilisation rates
- New records being set in asset finance with total loan book size up 20% and new business volumes up 27%, including the highest-ever month in March
- Bridging finance loan book grew 28% in the last six months with strong demand for refurbishment and development finish & exit products
Josh Levy, CEO of Ultimate Finance, said: “Reflecting on a first quarter that went by in a flash, we’re pleased with the rate at which we’ve been able to provide a growing level of funding to UK SMEs, with over £500m of total funding advanced and new business levels 12% higher than the equivalent period in 2022.”
“The variety of the solutions we provide alongside our introducer partners is demonstrated by the wide range of facilities covered by the 320 new clients we welcomed during Q1, financing receivables in sectors from construction to hospitality and haulage; asset types such as cold milling machines, trucks, trailers and mobile cranes; and property transactions including auction purchases, refurbishment projects and development exit bridges.
“A concern coming into this year is how SME demand for finance would hold up in the face of overall uncertainty and a higher cost of borrowing, but the adviser and broker community has played a key role in supporting borrower demand and giving businesses confidence to pursue available opportunities with the assurance that funding availability remains plentiful.”