Allica Bank, the leading challenger bank committed to supporting established small and medium-sized businesses, has today announced it has seen over £180 million of enquiries from care home businesses since it launched its specialist care home team in September 2021.
In light of this flurry of demand – which it says is driven by an influx of new market entrants, existing operators looking to expand and a reluctance among incumbent banks to service the sector – Allica has adjusted its lending policy to allow it to support even more care home operators.
Allica Bank launched its specialist lending team in September 2021 to provide brokers, experienced care home operators and first-time buyers with access to specialist care home lending expertise. In April, it also increased the maximum customer exposure for care home customers to £10 million to enable more operators to strengthen and scale their businesses. It also recently expanded its specialist team in the north of England and Scotland with the appointment of Brian Bovell.
The bank says the changes will especially benefit experienced care home operators, with it now able to lend based on the value of the existing business alongside the underlying property asset. It has also reconfirmed its unwavering commitment to supporting new entrants to the care home sector, who it says are a particularly underserved segment of the market.
“Incumbent banks tend to steer clear of the care home sector altogether because of the added levels of complexity when assessing transactions,” said Brian Bovell, one of Allica Bank’s specialist care home relationship managers. “And this is exactly why Allica has doubled down on it. We have identified the importance of giving brokers and customers access to that market expertise ourselves, and it’s proven to be incredibly popular so far.
“First-time buyers in particular often struggle to get the finance they need. This is a real worry considering their importance to the long-term sustainability of the sector, which is adjusting to a post-pandemic world and an ageing population. We’re pleased to be one of the few banks with the capacity to help them.”
Nick Baker, Chief Commercial Officer at Allica Bank, commented “This vital sector needs all the support it can get following the pandemic, and I’m pleased that Allica is able to provide that. We’ve had fantastic feedback from our broker community since launching our specialist team last year, and we have big plans to expand our proposition even further in the coming months.”