Paul Aitken, CEO of asset loan specialist borro, has revealed that art and antiques now account for 42% of the company’s loan book by value, with the more traditional asset loan categories of jewellery, watches and gold accounting for 48% and luxury and classic cars 10%.
Speaking at the 7th Art Investment
Conference held at the RSA in London last month, he said the value
of loans secured by art and antiques has grown by three and a half
times in the last year.
They have lent against a wide range of
assets but a more detailed breakdown of the art and antiques loans
shows that fine art dominates the works currently being accepted as
• 19th Century Art &
• Impressionist and Modern Art
• 20th Century Art & Sculpture
• Old Masters
• 18th Century Art
Launched in Oxford in 2008, borro has
prospered in a financial climate where conventional banks have
remained very wary of lending money against anything but real
estate and have generally given personal assets a wide berth.
Above: borro CEO Paul Aitken
Mr Aitken said that, overall, borro has
grown by two and a half times in the past year. They already have
an office in New York with two more planned for other US
Speaking after the conference, borro
managing director Claire Gates said she believed that the business
is evolving as it grows.
"With the discretion and the flexible
service we can offer we are moving more towards a private banking
experience. Clients offering assets up as security have to prove
ownership but the service is non-judgmental," she said.
"There are no credit checks and credit
rating is not impacted. We can adapt to their needs. Some prefer to
conduct the process at arm's length, others are keen to build a
personal relationship with us."
Releasing Stock Value
Depending on their needs, firms with money
tied up in stock can release part of that value for other projects.
Individuals with short-term liquidity problems can achieve their
aims without running the risks associated with a fire
There has been a steady increase in
consignment loans since the launch of the service last year, she
said. Buyers who want to sell can negotiate an immediate advance
(typically 40-60% of valuation) prior to the sale.
Ms Gates stressed that the firm increasingly
find themselves advising clients on the best time, place and method
of sale. "We can represent them and negotiate on their behalf. If
we handle the whole process it takes all the administrative worries
away from them," she said.
Borro say that they aim to release funds
within 24 hours of taking possession of assets and agreeing a
valuation. Small items are secured in the vaults at borro's
premises in Chancery Lane. Larger items are sent to secure storage
at Ward Thomas.