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GLASGOW-based Startline Motor Finance has been named among the Top 10 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Europe by American magazine, Inc.

The magazine and website creates widely-respected surveys covering privately-held small companies across the world. It reported that Startline had grown by 8,475% in a three year period to the end of 2017.

It noted that the auto lender…”has ushered in impressive growth. In 2018 alone, it doubled its staff to 80…its business volumes, by year-end, also ticked up by more than 20%”.

Chief Executive Paul Burgess said: “Being named in this list is a surprise to us and was completely unsolicited, but it is rewarding to see our growth and the success of our market concept being recognised by such a well-known and credible source.”

Startline, based at Skypark, has actually achieved further expansion since Inc. undertook the survey.

It ended the first quarter of 2019 with business volumes more than 20% up on the same period last year, unveiled plans to increase its headcount to around 150 and, last week, revealed a new £325 million funding facility from JP Morgan.

Burgess added: “We are undergoing a transformative period as a business. Our lending takes place mainly through introducers such as franchised dealer groups, car supermarkets and online platforms – and we are now working with larger numbers of all of these as well as seeing higher penetration at existing customers.

“Looking into the secondhalf of 2019, we envisage the current level of growth continuing and also plan to announce a number of interesting product and service developments.”

Startline’s was created to deliver a flexible approach to lending that is designed to be used when a mainstream prime lender declines an applicant.

Burgess said: “It makes no sense and is unfair that buyers who fall slightly below prime lender requirements very often end up using what we describe in the industry as a ‘sub-prime’ offer.

“There should be other options. We believe that, with a shifting social and economic landscape signifying changes in home ownership and employment patterns, that a move towards products like ours makes absolute sense.

“What we do at Startline is treat the applicant as an individual. Of course, we have some hard lending rules but in areas where other lenders take a black-and-white approach, we will take a look at each individual in more detail and, as a result, are able to offer APRs and terms that are comparable with traditional prime lenders.”

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