Lending start-up led by young entrepreneurs takes off with green agenda

A lending business run by two former City brokers, expects to double its loan book in the next few years by providing finance to developers and landlords striving to meet new regulations for sustainability.

Albatross Capital has secured an additional multi-million-pound funding line from Shawbrook to provide more short-term bridging loans to customers refurbishing properties, including semi-commercial, to comply with the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) regulations, due to come into force from 2025.

All new rental properties must have an EPC rating of at least band C under the bill passing through parliament, which the Fulham-based lender expects to spur investment in improving draughty rental properties’ insulation and heating systems.

Schoolfriends Lewis Casserley and Jordan Fearnley Brown, who started Albatross Capital at the start of the pandemic in 2020, are tapping into the market opportunity after a successful first two years in business building a multi-million-pound loan book.

The lender specialises in providing business loans ranging around £70,000 – £5,000,000, with the majority of its customers based in the North of England, but also lending in the South of England.

The duo turned to Shawbrook, which is the first institutional lender to back the start-up, to secure funding for its growth.

Jordan Fearnley Brown, Co-founder and Principal at Albatross Capital, said: “We all want to be part of a greener future, but it does mean that right now important changes need to be made to improve the UK’s housing stock.

“Despite a raft of legislation coming down the track, there was limited appetite from traditional lenders to support landlords and developers funding energy-efficient upgrades to their properties. We set up Albatross Capital to plug this gap in the market and help landlords comply and offer better quality housing that benefits both tenants and the environment.

“We’re focused on making sure our customers have complete transparency on when they’ll receive their funds – it’s what has helped retain business, build our reputation and grow quickly. In Shawbrook we have a funding partner that strives to meet the same high standards and they’ll be a crucial lender to us as we continue to grow.”

Mark Jarvis, Director of Speciality Finance at Shawbrook, said: “Lewis and Jordan at Albatross Capital have experienced strong growth in their first few years of trading, creating a solid case for us to support with the new funding line. Targeting sustainable renovations is a responsible move that helps to plug a lending gap while representing a major growth opportunity.”