borro has seen business owners use a wide range of interesting assets as collateral for loans. A McLaren SLR Roadster achieved a loan value of £120,000 for one client for example, while another client secured a £100,000 loan using a round brilliant cut single stone ring as collateral.
One business owner used an Andy Warhol painting to secure a £70,000 loan. The borro vaults have also seen a sapphire and diamond bracelet, and a platinum and diamond wristwatch, used by business clients – both assets secured a loan value of £50,000.
Since launch in 2008 borro has loaned £29m to business owners, £12m of that over the last 12 months, and the average SME loan is £24,000.
This has increased 168% since borro launched, and over half of borro’s current client base is business owners. Furthermore, half of all borro’s SME clients come back for further loans.
Paul Aitken, CEO and founder of borro, said: “The availability of credit for the country’s SMEs is sorely lacking, and despite government schemes to stimulate lending it’s been a sadly lacklustre effort to support what should be the lifeblood of our economy.
“Only 40% of British SMEs applied for credit in the last 12 months showing that confidence among business owners needs a real boost in order for new opportunities to be seized, which will undoubtedly stimulate growth.
“Our online personal asset-lending model sees nearly 60% of business come from business owners, many of whom tell us they haven’t even attempted to access finance through the more traditional means, instead coming straight to us and unlocking finance from high value and often usual assets, without putting their homes at risk.
“We have seen our lending to small business owners and the self-employed increase; in the past year alone borro has lent £12m to business owners running car investment firms, food services and children’s nurseries.
“We are able to provide risk free finance against personal assets within 24 hours therefore making life easier for SMEs who need to perhaps make a quick purchase or pay a tax bill for example.
“Even if the banks do grant a loan these businesses are still going to have to wait a considerable while for the cash to enter their accounts’’