The lender funds London’s hospitality, leisure and entertainment sector, offering loans to leasehold businesses such as restaurants, bars and hotels.
Tony Hamlin, managing director of First Merchant, said: “We understand the market and we know how ingenuity in our approach plays a big part.
“Our newfound partnership with ASTL and its members will allow us to exchange knowledge with one another whilst we continue to provide expert service in the unique market we operate in.”
First Merchant brings the number of associate members with the ASTL to 18.
Benson Hersch, chief executive of the ASTL, said: “We welcome First Merchant on board as an associate member and I believe that this will add to the diversity of knowledge and market specific experience within the association.
“The ASTL continues to grow and add value to our members with each new membership. We are certainly making headway in raising the standards both within the association and the bridging industry.”