Paragon expands into soft assets in response to shift in UK industries
Paragon’s Asset finance has expanded its proposition to finance soft assets along with its existing support for traditional hard assets.
The move reflects the evolving world of British businesses in the 21st Century and will allow the bank to get more funding to the SMEs that need it.
Finance will be provided for soft assets, which include a broad range from IT and office equipment to medical equipment and commercial fitouts or refurbishments.
Richard Doe, managing director for commercial lending at Paragon, said:
“As a specialist SME lender, our expansion into financing soft assets as well as hard assets reflects how asset finance is moving gradually from standard hard assets associated with factories and workshops to a huge growth in soft assets. This could be everything from software to shop fittings or office furniture.
“Paragon is working hard to improve access to funding for British companies, from someone who is self-employed to a mid-sized company, as our aim is to support SMEs in achieving their financial ambitions and to thrive.”
Latest figures for businesses in the UK by the House of Commons Library for December 2018 show that 75% of all businesses in the UK (4.2 million) are in the services industries. This includes retail but most of these are in the professional, scientific and technical industry. In comparison, Construction sector businesses account for 17% of all businesses and manufacturing firms account for 5%.
As a specialist lender, asset finance teams at Solihull-based Paragon have the scale and expertise to support the breadth of the SME community – from construction to printing; HGVs to legal practice support; aviation to agriculture; and business finance, media and medical technology to manufacturing. All these types of businesses will now be able to seek financial support for soft assets.