LHV UK to acquire Bank North’s SME lending business
By Leandra Monteiro
LHV UK announces that it has agreed on commercial terms to acquire Bank North’s Small Medium Enterprise lending business. This transaction enables the Company to accelerate its expansion plans to service SMEs.
LHV UK has made an offer to acquire the entire SME lending business of Manchester-based regional lender Bank North. LHV UK will acquire Bank North’s entire £17.9m loan book and technology systems for managing the loans. The transaction will also see 20 employees transfer to LHV UK and cooperation agreements with commercial brokers.
The SME business will remain regional and driven by cooperation with local commercial brokers. Manchester will become LHV UK’s third hub in the UK. The Company has placed high importance on the regional development of the UK’s FinTech sector; in addition to its London headquarters, LHV UK opened its second hub in Leeds for its development and engineering teams earlier this year.
Erki Kilu, CEO of LHV UK, said, “The demand for SME lending is well proven, and this acquisition enables LHV UK to accelerate our plans to expand to servicing SME companies. By utilising the experience of LHV UK’s Executive Management in the SME lending space and our access to funding and capital, which is essential when running a loan business, we can quickly build on the solid foundation laid by Bank North’s team.
By combining the skills and experience of the two companies, we increase LHV UK’s technical capacity, create value and will be in a position to better deliver to the UK SME market. The SME lending business will remain regional through our offices in London and Manchester, where it’ll continue to benefit from local expertise and established relationships with the brokers, who’ve already delivered a proven substantial loan pipeline to Bank North.”
Ron Emerson CBE, Chair of Bank North, said, “On behalf of the Board, I would like to express our appreciation for the support that we have received from the LHV Group. As an investor, they have conducted themselves impeccably and have demonstrated real empathy for SMEs and a genuine understanding of the Bank North lending proposition and vision. Following a competitive and independently managed process, we are pleased that we were able to agree on this transaction with LHV UK, which not only preserves 20 jobs and the Bank North legacy but also ensures that SMEs will get much-needed finance from a progressive and well-funded provider.”
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