By John Reynolds on Tuesday 17 September 2019
Natwest-owned and backed digital bank hints at further loan increases.
Esme Loans is upping the maximum loan amount it offers customers from £150,000 to £250,000, as it looks to lure in more business from SMEs and scale up businesses.
The move marks the first time the NatWest-owned and backed digital lending platform has lifted the amount it lends to SMEs and scale ups since its launch in 2017.
Esme Loans has also hinted that it could extend the threshold even further, pending demand.
"In future, if there is a demand for loans of more than £250,000 we would certainly consider it,” a company spokesman said.
At launch, Esme Loans offered loans from £25,000 to £150,000 and is now increasing it to £250,000 as it looks to increase its customer base.
Esme Loans said it made the increase "to support more UK SMEs than ever before".
To date, Esme Loans has lent over £70m to UK businesses and says it's on course to hit the £100m landmark by Christmas.
Andrew Ellis, head of Natwest Ventures, said: "Following a sustained increase in demand for Esme Loans, we have listened and engaged with our customers and are increasing the amount we can lend, so that we can support more customers in response to their evolving needs."
Ellis added: "The digital application and rapid end processing are resulting in more UK SMEs choosing Esme Loans to grow their business. We will continue to invest in our products, processes and technology to ensure that this continues."
Recent investments by Esme Loans include a partnership with Microsoft to build an AI-assisted chat bot to help answer and solve customer queries and a tie-up with Ezbob, the software provider for banks, helping Esme Loans integrate into third party platforms.
The digital lender provides unsecured business loans to a a variety of sectors including wholesale retail, support services and manufacturing.