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Case study: “We weren’t getting the support we needed from our bank”

22nd Apr 2024
Brought to you by
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Allica Bank is Britain’s award-winning business bank focused exclusively on supporting established...
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KCM Waste Management
Allica Bank

A fast-growing, family-owned business, managed prudently from sound fundamentals – sounds like a bank’s dream customer, no? KCM Waste Management ticks so many of the boxes for a healthy British business, but their high-street bank’s hesitancy to lend to them was holding them back from further growth. 

Rather than settle for stasis, they turned to their accountant and business finance adviser for help. Those conversations led them to Allica Bank, a bespoke growth finance facility, and the chance to march confidently towards the opportunities that lay ahead of them. 

This is the story of how it happened and where this change is taking them. 

The background on KCM Waste Management 

Operating out of Rotherham and serving the wider South Yorkshire region, KCM Waste Management has been operating for over 30 years and growing fast, employing more than 120 staff in 2023. 

In the last five years, things have been better than ever – the business has doubled its turnover, continued and extended its sponsorship of Rotherham United Football Club, and provided invaluable support to local charities and youth clubs. 

Managing Director Gareth Hickling puts much of their success down to balancing scale and service. “Our customers choose KCM because we’re big enough to do everything, but small enough to care.” 

Big problems with the big banks 

As Finance Director Emma Hickling explained, KCM planned to refinance its debt and “structure the business to make the most of a number of opportunities in front of us.” 

Having had a steady relationship with their high-street bank for many years, including holding traditional credit facilities for financing past growth, KCM felt confident that they’d be able to do more of the same to achieve their future goals. That proved not to be the case, though. 

Their existing bank was uneasy about extending its lending to the waste management sector and refused to consider a new facility. 

Rather than give up on their aspirations, Gareth and Emma asked their accountant for their thoughts. From there, they were introduced to adviser Adam Simpson of Sikstone Consultants who connected the Hicklings with Allica Bank. 

Finding a pro-growth lender and a positive perspective 

“We weren’t getting the support from our bank. When we looked around, Allica were very enthusiastic to help us grow,” said Gareth. 

Adam’s recommendation proved fruitful, as Allica was able to offer them a growth finance facility that served their immediate and future plans. As our Head of Growth Finance, Ian Flaxman, described it: “flexibility was key here. We took the time to understand the business and its aspirations and could structure something that lived up to those.” 

Gareth and Emma went from stuck in the mud to raring to go. “The funding that Allica has provided has made it very exciting for us,” Gareth said. “We have lots of things that we’d like to do to expand the business, such as moving waste streams onto other sites, and acquiring new sites.” 

Adam celebrated the relationship, too. “Allica Bank put together a growth finance facility that enabled the business to plan for the future and plan for their strategic opportunities as well.” 

A bright future, full of change 

In a high-growth business, things rarely stay the same for long. As Emma explained: “we adapt our services to meet our customers’ needs, and we appreciate working with a bank that mirrors that for us.” 

Ian agreed, highlighting that it is “very much a relationship-based approach, so that as things evolve over the months and years to come, we’re here alongside KCM to support them as best we can.” 

If you have a client in need of a growth-minded bank, with a personal approach to every credit application, then visit allica.bank/accountants to find out how we could help. 

You can also watch a video version of this case study here