Paragon reports 32% surge in development lending

Paragon Bank’s development finance division has recorded a 32.5% uptick in lending to SME housebuilders in its last financial year.

Lending reached £510.4m in the year to 30th September 2021, up from £385.3m the previous year, following robust demand from developers. 

While the loan book remained broadly in line with 2020’s £608.2m, the volume of new proposals received increased steadily during the second half of the year, building a “strong business pipeline”. 

“2021 was a positive year for the Paragon development finance business,” said Robert Orr, managing director of development finance at Paragon.

“We accelerated lending to our SME developer clients and ended the financial year with both our loan book and pipeline in a strong position. 

“Our clients were central to our success; not only did they display resilience throughout the pandemic, they showed ambition and drive to grow their businesses in challenging circumstances. 

“We have supported them across a fantastic range of projects, producing some brilliant and much needed new homes throughout the country.”  

He noted that a key focus during the year was on expanding its team, as well as innovating its product offering. 

“Since Paragon acquired Titlestone three years ago, we have grown the team by 200%, adding experienced hires from a range of competitors,” Robert added.

“We are now seeing the benefit of that through increased levels of business.”

Undrawn amounts on live facilities as of 30th September 2021 stood at £500.4m, 31.4% higher than the previous year end, while the post-offer pipeline of £298.6m was 74.1% greater.

The Paragon Banking Group reported a 61.8% increase in pre-tax profits to £194.2m for the full year. 

Nigel Terrington, chief executive at Paragon, commented: “We have delivered an outstanding performance in 2021, which is testament to the strength of our operating model, the quality of our customer base, and the capability and adaptability of our people.

“Every lending business in the group has this year made excellent progress and, at over £2.6bn, aggregate new lending now comfortably exceeds pre-pandemic levels.  

“These results validate our longstanding strategy to concentrate on specialist lending markets where we can add value for our customers with complex requirements.”

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