Treasury minister: ‘Significant appetite’ for UK investment as Dutch insurance firm Aegon will lend £160 million to UK small businesses using a peer-to-peer lender online platform.

The Dutch insurance company will invest their capital in loans that will be given to SME’s within the UK, they have partnered with peer-to-peer lending company Funding Circle, they envisage the 160 million GBP worth of loans will be given out during the course of the next year, and the plan is to extend the deal for a further three years.

Funding Circle estimates that the £160 million committed could help fund loans to 2,600 businesses.

Stephen Barclay MP, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, said in a statement on Thursday: “This partnership with one of the UK’s largest FinTech firms is further proof that the UK remains the global leader in FinTech.

“Aegon’s venture also shows that there is a significant appetite for inward investment into the UK and we hope to see more deals of this scale in the future.”

Aegon Bank’s CFO Mark de Boer said: “The strategic partnership we have signed with Funding Circle is another important step in the strategy of Aegon to cooperate with Fintech partners in the direct lending landscape.

“This partnership gives Aegon access to attractive small business loans over the next four years, which helps to further diversify our investment portfolio. High savings inflow of our successful Fintech Knab banking operation is used to invest in the Funding Circle loans.”

De Boer said the deal follows “extensive due diligence” and Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai called the partnership a “validation” of his company’s business.

Desai said in a statement: “Now investors of all shapes and sizes can benefit from the stability of the asset class whilst also providing much-needed job creation and economic growth. We hope our joint program with Aegon will develop to deliver increased lending to UK small businesses over the coming years.”

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