Murray robert

Specialist funder PCF Bank has announced a strategic partnership with alternative finance marketplace Code Investing to provide vehicle and asset finance to the UK SME sector.

The tie-up will see PCF gain direct lending access through Code Investing to pre-qualified SMEs that require hire purchase and leasing finance to assist them with acquiring assets.

For almost 25 years, PCF Bank (previously Private & Commercial Finance) has been providing fleet and equipment finance to businesses that wish to acquire assets ranging from commercial vehicles to construction equipment.

The bank currently has a portfolio of £200 million of finance receivables and more than 14,000 customers.

Code Investing’s lender panel contains a wide range of institutions, highlighting the increasingly important role alternative finance platforms play in helping businesses find the most appropriate form of finance - and lenders the most suitable borrowers.

Robert Murray, managing director of PCF Bank, which is owned by AIM-listed PCF Group, said: “Banks and other financial services providers are increasingly turning to alternative finance platforms to assist them in sourcing customers and then delivering their products seamlessly.

“We have been greatly impressed with Code Investing’s use of new technology to source and pre-qualify customers, and are delighted to be working in partnership with them.

“We see partnerships like this one as key to the development of our business as we look to grow our portfolio from its current level to £350 million by September 2020 and £750 million by September 2022."

Ayan Mitra, CEO and founder of Code Investing, added: “In many sectors, being able to secure competitive vehicle and asset loans is critical to growth. This kind of finance is literally the oil of the broader UK economy, helping to keep it moving, manufacturing and building.

“Our role will be to act as a filter for PCF, presenting them only with pre-qualified companies that meet their criteria. As they increase their market share, this will ensure their growing portfolio is fully optimised and de-risked."

The deal is the latest stage in PCF’s expansion plans and follows its recent £5.6 million acquisition of Azule, a pan-European provider of specialist funding to the broadcast and media industry.