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Bank Backed by Cambridge College Continues to Expand

Posted by Richard Ward in ,

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

The bank, Cambridge & Counties, which is jointly owned by Trinity Hall, part of the University of Cambridge, and Cambridgeshire Local Government Pension Fund, has loaned out more than £500 million to small firms since its launch.

The bank saw its loan book increase 41% last year, increasing from £416m to £588m, while deposits at the bank rose 45% to £685m. Pre-tax profits for 2016 increase 78% to £18.1m.

Cambridge & Counties was established in 2012 to support small and medium-sized businesses. The goal was to use long-term funds controlled by the college and pension fund, to fill a perceived gap in the market by lending to companies with a turnover and assets of less than £25m. The bank hoped the venture would generate profits but also fulfil a socially useful purpose.

Although competition for lending to small businesses has increased since the bank was established, C&C insists there is still plenty of room for growth.

The buy-to-let part of the bank, which predominately serves professional landlords in the midlands and the north of England, has reportedly seen no slowdown post the Brexit referendum. According to chief executive Mike Kirsopp, the bank wants to grow that side of the business into the south of the country as well, via its Bristol office.

The company expects its growth for 2017 to be similar to what it recorded the previous year and has increased its workforce to meet the demand of new business.