01 Apr 2019
Startline Motor Finance has secured a new £325 million credit facility from multinational investment bank J.P.Morgan.
It is the second arrangement of its type between the two companies, following a successful £250 million facility issued at the end of 2017.
The Glasgow-based company has effectively created a market niche with its flexible approach to the motor finance sector and ended the first quarter of 2019 with business volumes more than 20% up on the same period last year.
Paul Burgess, CEO, said: “The lending philosophy that we have pioneered in the motor finance sector is increasingly coming into its own, thanks both to greater understanding of our proposition from introducers such as dealers and to current market conditions.
“Across our product range, we have seen higher levels of penetration but the PCP offering that we introduced last year has been especially effective. It effectively has its own market niche that is very relevant to the used car market today.”
Startline doubled its headcount in 2018 to around 80 people and announced in March that it would be recruiting a further 50 as it brought its customer services function in-house.
Paul continued: “The last 12 months have been transformative for us as a business. Our lending takes place mainly through introducers such as franchised dealer groups, car supermarkets and online platforms – and we are now working with larger numbers of all of these as well as seeing higher penetration at existing customers.
“Looking further into 2019, we envisage the current level of growth continuing and also hope to be able to announce a number of interesting product and service developments.”
Startline’s flexible approach to lending is designed to be used when a mainstream prime lender declines an applicant.
Paul said: “It makes no sense and is unfair that buyers who fall slightly below prime lender requirements very often end up using what we describe in the industry as a ‘sub-prime’ offer. There should be other options. We believe that, with a shifting social and economic landscape signifying changes in home ownership and employment patterns, that a move towards products like ours makes absolute sense.
“What we do at Startline is treat the applicant as an individual. Of course, we have some hard lending rules but in areas where other lenders take a black-and-white approach, we will take a look at each individual in more detail and, as a result, are able to offer APRs and terms that are comparable with traditional prime lenders.”