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The Funding Corporation Limited (TFC), which is funded by Barclays and the IM Group, is on target to lend a total of £1 billion in its first five years of business.

TFC made operating profits of more than £1.5 million to December 2003, in its second trading year, on sales of £48million. Loans exceeded £135milllion, up 210% on 2002. The rate of progress is demonstrated by the fact that the company made a loss in 2002 of £4million.

The Chester-based independent finance company - one of the biggest in the UK - provides branded, niche and specialist loans to the consumer market through more than 100 affinity organisations and 1,000 car, motorcycle and caravan dealers. It also sells cars to the public under the Approved Car Finance banner.

When TFC was established in October 2001, it became the biggest start-up finance company in the UK and the biggest company start-up in the UK, of any status, since the mid-1990s.

"We are on target to achieve our five-year plan: £1billion worth of loans by October 2006. It has been a tough challenge, but we have found and developed niches in a market which many observers believed to be well served," said Jim Rowley, Managing Director.

"We have made and agreed affinity deals with more than 100 brands to provide finance and loans to their customers, and we have demonstrated an understanding and appreciation of the automotive sector which has taken us into more than 1,000 dealers."

In May 2003 TFC acquired the assets of Approved Car Finance from the receiver and turned the business around into a highly successful and profitable operation selling 10,000 cars a year. In March 2004 TFC acquired the block discounting operations of Abbey Business, its first move into business-to-business finance. The acquisition enables TFC to provide finance facilities for smaller companies wishing to provide or create credit products on their own branded documentation.

Jim Rowley said: "TFC is a story of growth; organically and via acquisition. The availability of Abbey's Block Discounting operations tied in perfectly with our strategic plan, which is based around broadening and extending our range of offerings into the business-to-business market place."

Further information:
Iain Macauley
0161 929 0446 / 07788 978800