Paragon’s annual results reveal their commercial lending division led new business growth for the banking group over the past year.
The commercial lending division includes development finance, SME lending, structured lending and motor finance.
The firm reported a 36% increase in new lending volumes to £968m and a 28% expansion in the loan book to £1.45bn.
Overall underlying profits for the group increased by 5% to £164m for the 12 months to 30 September 2019, up from £157m in 2018.
Dave Newcombe, managing director of commercial lending at Paragon said: “Strong growth in Paragon’s lending, particularly to UK SMEs, is truly reflective of our commitment to support British businesses, helping them to grow and achieve their ambitions.”
The groups original property development finance team with Titlestone which was acquired in 2018, raised new lending to developers from £137m last year to £363m.
Results also show SME lending including asset finance and loans advanced by the Iceberg professions finance operation acquired in December 2017 grew to £407m, a 15% increase on the £355m for 2018.
Paragon’s structured lending team which provides senior debt to developing finance businesses had eight transactions in place compared to three at the end of 2018.
Paragon recently appointed John Phillipou as the new managing director of SME lending.
He joined from PEAC finance where he served as chief executive, leading the business in providing finance solutions for SME clients.
At Paragon he is responsible for overseeing the SME lending activities including broker, commercial invoice finance and professional loans to support UK businesses.
Phillipou said of his appointment: “I am delighted to be joining Paragon and I look forward to working with the team to deliver both a first-class service and products.”
In November Paragon announced the appointment of Fraser Tilley as asset finance director for Scotland. He joined from Santander where he spent nine years as Scottish regional director for asset finance. Before Santander he was with the Bank of Scotland for over 20 years in a range of relationship management and asset finance roles.