Woodford pours another £2.3m into alternative lender

Neil Woodford has snapped up more shares in alternative short-term lender, Non-Standard Finance (NSF).

According to a regulatory filing, Citywire A-rated Woodford’s (pictured) eponymous investment firm acquired a little over four million shares in NSF.

The transaction, which took place on the 12 April, lifted his firm’s total interest in the business to 75,430,933 shares, representing a 23.8% stake.

Based on a closing share price of 58p on 12 April, the value of the latest investment was £2.3 million.

Shares in the business have since risen to 59.25p, giving Woodford’s total holding a value of £44.6 million.

Woodford Investment Management has backed NSF – which operates through four divisions: Central, Loans at Home, Everyday Loans and Trusttwo – since its £100 million listing by former Provident Financial chair John van Kuffeler in February 2015.

At the time of its listing NSF said it saw a growing market in the UK for alternative finance, with 12 million people failing to meet the credit criteria of mainstream lenders.

‘Following the financial crisis a significant part of the UK’s population cannot gain access to mainstream financial services’ van Kuffeler said.

‘A number of entrepreneurial start-ups began to fill the gap in the market, but many of these firms lack the capability to reach their full potential.’

Full-year numbers released by NSF last month revealed it intends to pay a maiden dividend of 1.2p.

It also showed a huge swing into a £13.8 million profit in 2016, following a loss of £0.5 million in the previous year.