Estonia’s LHV bank starts issuing loans in the UK

LHV UK Limited, a subsidiary of listed Estonian financial service group LHV Group, has started issuing loans for small and medium-sized enterprises in the United Kingdom.

LHV UK Limited was registered in the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority’s financial services register on 29 November 2022 and thereby gained the right to start issuing SME loans in the United Kingdom. The commercial term loans start from the amount of 500,000 pounds and are secured by commercial real estate and other guarantees.

In October, LHV acquired the loan business of the Manchester-based Bank North. As a result of the transaction, LHV UK acquired an SME loan portfolio of approximately £17.9 million, modern loan management software and cooperation agreements with major loan brokers.

Lending operations will begin in and around Manchester – considered England’s second most important city – but in the future, there are plans to create an additional sales and customer service team in London.

“Lending to enterprises has been the core business activity of LHV. We are beginning our loan activity now because we believe a new entrant can grow a lending business against such strong demand. Our strengths are a faster lending process and loan managers with long-term experience who understand the needs of local entrepreneurs. Starting with business loans now allows us to accelerate our current UK plans significantly,” the CEO of LHV Group, Madis Toomsalu, said.

LHV UK’s growth plans in the United Kingdom are underpinned by three business lines –providing banking services for financial intermediaries, SME lending and banking services for e-merchants.

Headquartered in Tallinn, LHV Bank was founded in 1999 and is the third largest and the biggest Estonian-owned (the first two, Swedbank and SEB, are subsidiaries of the namesake Swedish banks) bank in Estonia. It is a subsidiary of LHV Group, a public company listed on the Nasdaq Tallinn Stock Exchange. The bank’s clients include private individuals, small and medium-sized companies and institutional investors.

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