Asset Finance News

Paragon records growth in new SME lending  

phillipou john
John PhillipouParagon Bank’s SME Lending Managing Director

Paragon Banking Group’s SME lending business increased new lending during the first half of its financial year, the company announced today.

Paragon reported the SME lending business delivered new lending of £230.2 million for the six months to 31 March 2024, a 4.6% increase on the same period last year.

Overall, Paragon Banking Group recorded a 13.5% increase in underlying profits to £146.3 million for the first six months.

SME lending continued to record an increase in the proportion of business introduced via its online broker portal, launched in 2021. The portal is enhanced with additional functionality. including auto-decisioning, meaning funds can be distributed to customers more quickly. 

SME lending is one of the businesses that comprise Paragon’s Commercial Lending division. Overall commercial lending volumes were slightly higher than their 2023 level at £589.8 million, with commercial lending accounting for 48% of new lending across the Group.

John Phillipou, Paragon Bank’s SME Lending Managing Director, said: “We are pleased to record an increase in our new lending, particularly given the challenging environment SMEs faced in 2023.

“UK SMEs are resilient and flexible, adapting to the pressures of the past few years to grow their businesses. We’re pleased to be able to support them to achieve their ambitions.”