BCRS tie up with Thincats to ramp up loan reach across Midlands

BCRS Business Loans have today announced a new investment program that will be delivered through ThinCats.

BCRS provide loans to SME’s where mainstream lenders have been unable to help. Today’s announcement sets out their plans to expand the reach of their loans by investing through peer to peer lender, ThinCats.

Crimson Ltd are the first West-Midlands company to receive a loan from BCRS through the ThinCats platform and specialise in the Technology and Recruitment sector. The loan was made to help Crimson to boost and enable the firm’s 2015 growth program.

To date ThinCats, one of the UK’s big four peer to peer lenders, have connected thousands of investors with UK SME’s, and facilitated £91.9m1 worth of secured loans, over £8m1 of which have been made to businesses in the Midlands. BCRS have also made a considerable contribution to SME growth, and in January 2015 reached the £21.5m2 mark in loans made to West-Midlands based businesses.

ThinCats take a very unique and personal approach to helping businesses get the funding they need, using a network of local sponsors who work with each business to create and review their loan application based on merit. UK Manufacturing tops the list of ThinCats loans, with 17.4% of lenders looking to the sector as a promising investment and the latest Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers Index validate this sentiment reporting a rise from 52.7 to 53. Further top sectors include Wholesale and Retail Trade (13.7%) and Construction services (10.2%).

Paul Kalinauckas, BCRS Chief Executive said, “Investing through ThinCats means that we can reach so many more businesses, 2014 was a great year but to grow we needed a trusted partner to extend our reach.

“The values that ThinCats uphold are very similar to our own and their reach is extensive. We are driven to help SME’s get the funding they need to prosper by assessing them on merit not through complex and unforgiving credit algorithms.”

The BCRS model is of an approachable lender that assesses each individual case on its own merits and operates very much with a traditional lending ethos rather than impersonal computerised credit scoring, with Business Development Managers going out and visiting businesses to learn more about them and how BCRS can help.

BCRS understand that getting business finance can sometimes be a problem and want to do everything possible to meet the demand for loans. Not only does it mean that a business can flourish with help but also create jobs and contribute to the social and economic well-being of the area. In 2014 BCRS generated an extra £60 million into the West Midlands economy through the impact of business loans to SME’s by creating over 400 jobs and safeguarding over 1,000”*

Kevin Caley, Managing Director and co-founder of ThinCats said:

“We are delighted to be helping BCRS invest in businesses across the Midlands, they have a great tradition of helping companies grow who perhaps, like many, have been crippled by poor bank lending and a stifled economy.  BCRS’ investment is recognition that ThinCats have extensive reach into the SME funding pool and can help investors reach it.  Peer to peer lending is revolutionising the landscape for SME’s as well as investors who have been downtrodden by nearly a decade of low interest rates.”

ThinCats expect to reach £100m of loans in the first quarter 2015 and around 10% of that is expected to be fed in to businesses in the Midlands.

*based on BIS (2013) Economic Evaluation of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, Table 28, annual average based on quoted average net additional gross value added per business.

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