BLACK Country Reinvestment Society (BCRS), the business loans company based in Wolverhampton, hase celebrated doubling its lending to small businesses affected by the credit crunch to over £1million this year.
The company, which has recently relocated to Wolverhampton Science Park, was formed in 2002 as a small loans ethical lender. They lend up to £50,000 to small businesses and have recently assisted their 100th client.
Chief executive Paul Kalinauckas said: “There is now a real buzz around BCRS. It’s taken us five years to get where we are today and this is now a period of rapid but controlled growth for us. We are now in a much stronger position, having built up from a £500,000 lend in 2007, through £1million this year. We are aiming for a £1.5million lend per year. Thanks to our recently established relationships with the Co-operative Bank and Unity Trust Bank, we now have the scale and strength to deliver longer term success to our clients.
“We pride ourselves on our personal touch; many of the High Street banks have moved away from this and it has been to their cost. The financial landscape is changing and customers no longer get the same kind of support and comfort from banks. The BCRS model is of an approachable lender and we assess each individual case on its merits. We operate very much with a traditional lending ethos rather than relying on computer modelling and assessment.
“It is natural for a bank to consider how to maximise profit in the first instance, whereas BCRS prefer to think how to work in partnership with clients in a productive manner, but from a mutual perspective. BCRS consists of a group of people with the same value system who have worked together to create this vehicle. It couldn’t work if our ethic was driven by greed – we think our clients have probably witnessed enough of that.”
Charles Hanmer, BCRS chairman, said: “We have a solid, pioneering Black Country ethic and have concentrated on building our brand, raising market awareness in our product, consolidating our greater market positioning and our client perception.”