Lender with £300m looks for SMEs

Harry Parkinson, centre, with Diane McGregor and Marc Hawthorne

Harry Parkinson, centre, with Diane McGregor and Marc Hawthorne

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Capitalflow Commercial Finance began operating in April, already lending £10m to NI businesses

A new commercial business lender has arrived in Northern Ireland with a £300m budget to lend to small and medium sized businesses across Ireland over the next three years.

Capitalflow Commercial Finance, which has been launched with offices in both Belfast and Dublin, is headed up by Harry Parkinson, who formerly led Northern (now Danske) Bank’s invoice finance operation in Belfast before setting up Close Brothers Commercial Finance back in 2007.

Since opening its doors in April, Capitalflow, funded by London based equity fund specialists Pollen Street Capital, has already lent more than £10m to businesses across Northern Ireland through a mixture of asset finance, invoice finance and asset based lending.

“We’re very excited about the opportunity we have to help businesses here in Northern Ireland,” said CEO of Capitalflow, Harry Parkinson.

“There is a massive gap in the market for so called ‘alternative’ lenders and the appetite for borrowing is there; which is proven by the fact we’ve already written deals worth more than £10 million to local SMEs.

“I have a 22-strong team in place across Ireland and it’s the strength of our collective experience along with a very competitive offering that will set us apart from others in the marketplace.”

Parkinson’s senior team in Northern Ireland includes sales directors Diane McGregor and Marc Hawthorne, each of whom has extensive experience in corporate and commercial lending.

“Our focus is on asset and invoice finance but we’re also offering asset based lending (ABL) directly against property and inventory; this offering is unique to the marketplace,” he added.

“The other big benefits we’re offering are prompt credit decisions, highly competitive loan to value ratios and the ability to completely tailor a finance solution to suit the individual business. That’s something I don’t think you’ll ever see from the big banks.

“We will lend to a broad spectrum of SMEs, including start-ups and early stage operators as well as established businesses, it’s a case of looking at the potential of a business and making a decision on that basis.”