Asset Finance News

Fintech Allica Bank takes on AIB SME lending portfolio


Allica Bank is to acquire around 2,000 SME customers and some £600 million of associated lending from AIB Group (UK) Plc following AIB’s exit from the SME market in Great Britain. The deal is the first major transaction for the fintech challenger bank since its launch in March 2020 and the acquisition brings forward Allica’s target profitability date to the middle of 2022, with the total combined lending book forecast to be over £1 billion, based on continued organic growth combined with the quality of the AIB SME lending portfolio.

AIB, one of the four largest Irish banks, said the sale marks another “significant step” in the implementation of its previously announced Strategic Transformation Programme, which is intended to reduce costs by €230m by 2023.

Richard Davies, Allica Bank CEO, said: “We are thrilled to be welcoming AIB’s SME lending customers to Allica Bank, following AIB’s decision to withdraw from the GB SME lending market. We’re working closely with AIB to ensure a smooth and seamless transition for AIB customers who we look forward to providing with a secure and sustainable home. We’re proud of the strong technology and tailored personal service we’re able to offer Allica Bank customers and are delighted to be able to extend this service to AIB’s customers.

“Allica Bank is fast becoming the SME lender of choice, not least due to the investment we continue to make in developing both our direct relationship with SMEs and via our broker channel. This acquisition enables us to support and scale even more of Britain’s established SMEs and growth companies at a time when SMEs are looking for more tailored support from their bank.”

Allica Bank, which is backed by London investment firm Warwick Capital Partners, received full UK banking authorisation in late 2019. Chief executive Richard Davies joined from Revolut and has announced a “laser focus” on growing the SME lending business to “multiple billions” over the next few years.

Since first opening its doors to SME lending in March 2020, Allica Bank has launched a new network of local SME relationship managers offering tailored SME lending expertise able to fully support AIB’s SME customers. Currently 85% of Allica Bank’s lending is to businesses outside London. The fintech said the acquisition of AIB’s SME lending book in Great Britain will fuel the development and expansion of its hybrid digital and “in person” service and proposition, including wider lending products, with Allica Bank also poised to launch its innovative Business Rewards Account early next year.