• Henry Howard Finance Group funded more than 8,000 businesses in 2017, an increase of 34% on the year prior
• Asset-based lending volumes hit a new threshold of £104m
• HHF’s ‘own book’ balance sheet grew more than 40% during 2017
• Overall the Group lent over £200m in the twelve month period to 31 December 2017

 Independent lender Henry Howard Finance (HHF) saw record portfolio growth in 2017, cementing the Group’s position as one of the country’s leading funders for UK Plc.

HHF supported more than 8,000 businesses with asset-based lending facilities during 2017, an increase of 34% compared to the 6,000 companies assisted in 2016. For the first time, the combined asset-based lending divisions paid out more than £100m of funding (£104m), marking a significant milestone in HHF’s journey.

Overall, origination grew by 25% in comparison to 2016, while 45% of all asset-based lending agreements, totalling a capital value of approximately £46m, were funded on HHF’s own balance sheet,  demonstrating an increase of 42% in own book-lending during the twelve month period. At the end of 2017, own book receivables stood at £81m.

Henry Howard Cashflow Finance further contributed to the firm’s overall performance, by providing invoice discounting facilities for more than 90 businesses in 2017, also crossing the £100m lending barrier for the first time in comparison to lending £83m the year prior. In total, the Group lent more than £200m to UK SMEs in the period 1 January-31 December 2017.

Commenting on the success of the past twelve months co-founder and group chief executive officer Mark Crook said: “As one of only three UK finance providers to have secured a British Business Bank ENABLE Funding line (of £51m) in 2016, HHF was well positioned to assist companies of all sizes and stages to fund investment into business critical equipment, and to manage cash-flow demands in 2017.

“The growth demonstrated across both our asset-based lending and invoice discounting divisions reflects solid management strategies across both marketplaces, while our ability to accelerate lending on our own balance sheet facilitated an increased level of financial support for a record number of companies.

“As outlined above, this approach allowed us to significantly increase our funding capabilities, cementing the final stage in our transition to a fully fledged lender.

“As we turn to 2018, we have every confidence that HHF will evolve into an even more ambitious independent finance house, with a progressive own book appetite.  In preparation for this new phase, the Board will continue to recruit leading industry talent, while investing in our existing operational capabilities.’’

In 2017, Henry Howard Finance Group further strengthened its offering with diversification into new sectors, including healthcare, renewables, and robotics. The firm was also recognised as alternative finance provider of the year in the Wales Dealmakers Awards and as ‘Top Multi-Line Funder’ by Leasing World.