Paragon Banking Group’s first half results announced today show a strong increase in asset finance lending to small and medium sized UK businesses, up 54% to £164m compared with the same period last year.
Existing operations, combined with Paragon’s new aviation finance proposition, grew lending by 14% to £121m.
In addition, Iceberg, a specialist broker and lender in the professional services sector added a further £42m of new lending, following its acquisition in December 2017.
Iceberg focuses principally on short-term unsecured business funding for solicitors and, through solicitors, in lending to parties in inheritance and matrimonial proceedings.
Total loan balances for Paragon’s asset finance operations increased to £428m at 31 March 2018 from £314m twelve months ago as the business continued with its strategic repositioning to address the larger, mid-range segment of the market.
Overall, underlying half-year profits for Paragon Banking Group grew by almost 5% to £73m, up from £70m in the first half last year.
Gary Leitch, asset finance director at Paragon said:
“We continue to see exciting opportunities to expand Paragon’s expertise and reach in the asset finance market. The launch of our new aviation proposition and the acquisition of legal specialist, Iceberg, expands our sector expertise and underpins our progress in the first half.”