BNP Paribas launches UK fund for SME lending
BNP Paribas Asset Management will launch BNP Paribas UK SME Debt Fund 1, offering clients access to the UK SME lending market.
The asset management arm of the bank’s new fund will invest in senior loans to SMEs with an annual turnover of less than £50 million through its BNPP AM’s SME Alternative Financing platform.
The platform uses proprietary big data technology, which pairs with the bank’s balance sheet and infrastructure.
The bank believes that despite the effects of the financial crisis, “banks remain a key feature of the SME lending market and investment funds have traditionally been providing financing in the upper end of the mid-market area, while smaller companies are increasingly accessing finance through fintech crowdfunding solutions or peer-to-peer lending”.
Stéphane Blanchoz, head of SME alternative financing at BNP Paribas Asset Management, comments: “We are targeting SMEs between these two market segments, where there are opportunities for businesses to contribute to UK GDP growth, but where sustainable funding solutions are limited.”
BNPP AM says it’s focusing on investments and partnerships to boost its SME segment.
In November 2017 it acquired a 10% stake in alternative SME credit company Caple, whose platform offers access to a network of around 70 accountancy and advisory firms.
In February of this year, BNP Paribas launched another investment fund for fintech and insurtech start-ups.
More recently, in July 2018, BNPP AM partnered with CODE Investing, a UK based fintech lending platform.