CODE Investing upgrades board and bids to boost lending

By Roger Baird on Tuesday 29 January 2019

Alternative Lending

The small business lender said it plans increase lending and grab market share.

Small business finance platform CODE Investing has announced two appointments as it bids to lift lending.

The London-based firm said it had enlisted former Borro Private Finance chairman, John Allbrook, who left Borro in December 2018, as a non-executive director. Borro provides, short and medium term secured loans against luxury assets such as classic cars, fine art or high-end watches.

Allbrook had previously spend a number of years at GE Capital, the financial services unit of US conglomerate General Electric. However, over the last decade Allbrook has chaired a number of small finance operations, such as Syscap and Franchise Finance, which were successfully sold to larger rivals.   

CODE chief executive Ayan Mitra said: “John is an experienced and highly regarded business leader, who has spent much of the past 10 years involved with new platforms that vastly improve the finance options for UK small and medium sized enterprises [SMEs] by providing access to non-bank lenders.”

Allbrook said he was “excited” to join CODE, which makes loans of between £50,000 and £2m. He added: “The shape of the UK SME financing market has changed markedly since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008.”  

The firm also appointed Mark Collings as chief commercial officer, who it said has three decades of banking and business experience including spells leading international commercial management teams at Barclays' and Santander.

Mitra added: “Mark has more than 30 years of experience in banking and SME finance, which will also prove invaluable as we set out to scale up our operations and increase our market share.”

This month CODE said that fintech lenders were boosting their loans to UK manufacturers as they stockpile raw materials ahead of a potential no-deal Brexit.

Loans to manufacturers jumped by 8.4 per cent in the year to last December, hitting £17.9bn, compared to a 0.3 per cent contraction in overall UK business borrowing over the same period, according to figures from banking body UK Finance.

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