History of Propel

The story
so far


In 2020, Propel partnered with Barclays Bank UK PLC to help SME business customers access best-in-class asset finance services to purchase equipment and vehicles; enabling them to maximise their opportunities, driving productivity and performance.

  • 1996

    Our story begins in 1996 as Howard Ross approaches Mark Crook to co-steer newly established brokerage Henry Howard Finance (HHF).  Scroll through to see our impressive journey from local broker to national funder.  
  • 1997 – 2001

    We quickly became a recognised and respected niche broker for SME’s. A dedicated sales team are recruited and a number of key accounts are quickly established.

  • 2001

    As our growth gains momentum, we become a PLC.

  • 2004

    We begin lending own money against own balance sheet, creating an ‘own book’ facility.

  • 2001 – 2010

    We expand significantly due to our quick and straightforward leasing agreements complimented by customer service and outstanding relationship management.

  • 2012

    We are recognised as one of the leading providers of SME finance in the UK.

  • 2014

    We enter another period of significant growth as we attract a £25 million investment from Cabot Square Capital, a specialist financial private equity investor.

  • 2014 – 2015

    The business writes increasingly more business, using its own capital and creates new business divisions (Asset, Vendor, Retail & Cashflow).

  • 2015

    We proudly launch ‘HowApp,’ an online credit decision and deal management portal.

  • 2016

    £51m asset finance facility is agreed with the British Business Bank’s Enable Funding programme (50% guaranteed by the European Investment Fund). Another £7m is also secured by block funding.

  • 2016

    We lend in excess of £150m to businesses in the UK and our services are recognised by leading industry channels.

  • 2017

    We experience another period of enormous growth. Anne Williams joins the business as COO, having previously worked for GE Capital for 20 years.

  • 2018

    We sell our Cashflow division to concentrate on our Asset, Retail and Vendor activity. Director Mark Catton, new CEO and Mark Tweed, new CFO joins the business at a time of exceptional growth. The senior management team is strengthened and we drive forward our growth plans to cement our reputation as a leading funder of choice.

  • 2019

    We are delighted to win over 30 awards during 2019 for our fantastic technology led and service led approach. An additional £60m asset finance facility is agreed with the British Business Bank. We invest £1m into our technology, becoming one of the most flexible and advanced funders in the market.  Jon Maycock joins us as Commercial Director.

  • Dec 2019

    For over 20 years, we have continued to deliver leading-edge finance solutions through a unique combination of teamwork and technology, and our exciting new chapter is a new name, and new drive to support businesses across the UK.  To create experiences that are personal, progressive and partner-orientated.  We are proud to introduce Propel.