AIB targets UK franchise market
AIB is elbowing its way back into the UK business market with a target to lend €69m to owner operators of brand franchises.
AIB has set up a dedicated £50m (€69m) fund to lend to franchisees - business owner/ operators who operate under existing brands.
State owned AIB's UK operation is a specialist business lender focused largely at the owner managed business (OMB) segment.
Last year it doubled new lending to just under £1.1bn, from £527m in 2013. The bank's British unit is positioning itself between a clatter of new "challenger banks" and the traditional "high street" giants such as Lloyds and HSBC.
Franchises to operate everything from Costa Coffee and KFC to Maston's pubs and the Pittman clerical skills training services are growing in popularity in Britain, up by a quarter since 2004 to a total of around 40,000 according to the UK's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper. AIB plans to lend to established operators who have at least five outlets already.