Paragon’s commercial lending division doubles new lending


Paragon’s commercial lending division has doubled new lending in the past year with every product line showing strong levels of growth.

Asset finance and development finance led growth within the division, the Q1 trading update to 31 December 2018 reveals today.

Acquisitions of property finance company Titlestone and legal finance firm Iceberg have also delivered on growth potential for the award-winning specialist lender, which serves SMEs in the UK.

Paragon Banking Group reported a 41% increase across all business lines to deliver £661m of new lending in the first quarter of 2019. Commercial lending reported the highest levels of growth across the group, to achieve a 105% increase in lending to £212m, compared to £103m in the same quarter last year.

That was helped by a 56% increase in lending by asset finance to £93m, compared to £60m in the same period last year. That volume includes £19m from Iceberg, which joined Paragon in December 2017. Like-for-like asset finance growth was 27%.

Development finance reported a 451% year-on-year increase in lending with £79m of new business written in the quarter. That is in line with the £321m of new advances achieved by the combined Paragon and Titlestone teams in the year to September 2018.

Elsewhere in the division, motor finance increased lending by 25% to £36m and structured lending brought in over £3m of business in the quarter.

Richard Doe, managing director for commercial lending at Paragon, said:

“These results show further progress and strong growth for the commercial lending division and our recent acquisitions of Titlestone and Iceberg are only helping to grow our business to new levels across asset finance and development finance.

“As a specialist lender, Paragon is working hard to improve access to funding for British companies and SMEs and our increased levels of lending reflect this.”

The trading update also reported that mortgage lending grew by 22% to £449 million, with buy-to-let advances up 24% to £425m. Paragon’s deposit raising continues to form the foundation of its funding programme, with savings balances exceeding £5.6bn at the quarter end.