“We met with the local Santander team and found them to be the most proactive and commercially focused of all the banks we spoke to. The managers took a close look at our business and worked hard to find a solution that would work for us. As our order book grew, it was Santander that first mentioned the Export Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme as an option.”
Stuart Garner, CEO, Norton Motorcycles (UK)
Norton is a name synonymous with the British motorcycle industry. Founded in 1898, it came under new ownership in 2008 and, after a period of intense research and development, production started at its new home at Donnington Park in Leicestershire. As interest grew and the order book expanded, it became clear that the production facility would have to be extended to cope with customer demand. Owner and CEO, Stuart Garner, spoke to a number of banks in 2010 to see whether they could find a solution that would fit the company’s specific requirements and circumstances.
The Santander team assigned a dedicated Relationship Director and a trade finance specialist who was able to bring real expertise to the table, suggesting that Norton was a suitable candidate for the new ExEFG scheme. The scheme is a Government-backed trade finance scheme based on the successful Enterprise Finance Guarantee. Under the scheme, accredited lenders can provide export finance facilities of up to £1 million, for terms of up to two years to viable SMEs with a turnover of £25 million or less. Santander was one of the first lenders to agree to participate in the scheme, and Norton’s £625,000 loan is the first to be advanced under the scheme. Santander handled all the paperwork for the loan, and also assisted by providing additional day-to-day banking facilities. The loan will support the creation of 30 new jobs and significant expansion of the company’s production facilities.
Customer service: Santander handled the set up process and all the paperwork for the new loan – a process Norton CEO and owner Stuart Garner describes as “painless”
Business focus: Norton was impressed with the approach taken by its local Santander team, which it found to be proactive and commercially focused
Innovation: It was the Santander trade finance specialist that made Norton aware of the existence of the ExEFG scheme and its potential suitability
Commitment: The Santander Relationship Director took a close look at the business and worked hard to find a solution that would fit Norton’s business model