David Mercer gearing up for auto sector growth

Secure Trust Bank is creating a financial services hub for UK auto dealers with the launch of V12 Vehicle Finance.

The launch is part of a strategy to treble the bank's motor lending by 2023 to around £1 billion through a range of innovative services covering the sourcing, funding and financing of used cars and vans.

To drive growth, it has developed a strategic partnership with innovative national vehicle remarketing specialist Aston Barclay Group to provide a broad service to dealers.

A wholesale proposition, 'Aston Barclay Stock Funding powered by V12 Vehicle Finance', will support the remarketing company's 6,000 buyers with rapid access to finance to fund a vehicle's value, including auction fees, delivery charges and refurbishment costs up to £1,000, including VAT.

Aston Barclay has integrated the finance proposition into its buyer's app, so customers can digitally source and fund stock in a 'three tap transaction' covering search, bid and fund.

Dealers who partner with V12 Vehicle Finance will have access to Aston Barclay's recently launched e-Valuate vehicle appraisal tool, so they can inspect and value trade-ins, and the e-Xchange stock sourcing portal that includes live online bidding and a 'buy now' option.

Neil Hodson, Aston Barclay's group CEO, said: "This is a perfect fit for a strategic business partnership. V12 Vehicle Finance is a like-minded business with a focus on establishing a unique digital buying and funding journey for dealer buyers."

V12 Vehicle Finance has automated the wholesale and retail finance lifecycle process by investing in the CALMS asset finance platform from White Clarke Group.

Additionally, when dealer customers return for servicing, they will be offered interest-free credit over six or 10 months through a partnership with the bank's sister company V12 Retail Finance, a point-of-sale funding specialist that has hundreds of thousands of customers in sectors ranging from furniture to electrical goods, home improvement and jewellery.

The vehicle finance business will be led by managing director David Mercer (pictured), who has more than 35 years' experience in the automotive industry, including leading Cox Automotive's NextGear Capital.

He said: "We are focused on building a unique proposition for used car and van dealers that has never been seen before in the UK market.

"The Aston Barclay partnership is extremely exciting as the group combines a comprehensive physical auction infrastructure with a class-leading range of digital technologies."

Mercer joined the bank last year to oversee its Moneyway near-prime auto finance brand, which he will continue to run as part of V12 Vehicle Finance.

Secure Trust Bank has more than 1 million customers across its services and last year loans and advances totalled more than £2 billion for the first time, a year-on-year rise of 27%. The bank's customer deposits are nearly £1.9 billion.

Article published in Asset Finance International