A new bank targeting established small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) has launched today.
Cambridge & Counties Bank says it will provide SMEs with loans secured against commercial property as well as a deposit account.
It will also offer secured pension scheme lending, and has plans to launch professional firm financing, as well as other savings accounts into both the retail and non-retail sectors.
The bank is jointly owned by Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund and Trinity Hall, a College of the University of Cambridge. They each own 50% of the bank, which has a management team led by chief executive Gary Wilkinson who has held a number of senior roles in the banking and building society sectors.
Analysis of industry data by Cambridge & Counties Bank reveals that in the second half of 2011, over 60,000 loan and overdraft applications from SMEs worth as much as £3 billion, were rejected by banks. New research from the bank reveals that 47% of businesses believe that their relationship with their main business bank is only average or bad.
Wilkinson said: “We have been able to build a very strong and experienced management team, and launch at a time when many robust SMEs are finding it difficult to secure finance. There is also a real need for increased competition in the banking sector.
“By placing a significant focus on developing a partnership type relationship with our clients through being easy to do business with and by focusing on plain English and transparency, we hope to have a significant impact on our markets.”