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NPIF funding helps compliance firm gear up for growth as new rules boost demand

A Yorkshire consultancy that helps firms to meet the standards required by the UK’s financial services watchdog has secured a £200,000 loan from NPIF – Mercia Debt Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund (NPIF), as new rules increase demand for its services.

The Compliance Company helps financial services firms and those offering consumer credit to gain authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and comply with the rules. The company, which currently employs 15 staff and has offices in Leeds and Derby, has increased client numbers by 13% in the past year. It now supports around 350 businesses throughout the UK such as lenders, insurance brokers and claims management companies as well as motor dealers and retailers offering payment plans.

The funding will enable it to gear up for the expected growth in demand as tougher standards are introduced and regulations are extended to other sectors. From July, funeral plan providers must be authorised by the FCA, and the government is also planning to regulate some types of ‘buy now pay later’ lending and crypto assets.

Meanwhile, firms which are already regulated are facing new obligations, such as the Consumer Duty guidance which aims to improve the standards of care they offer consumers. Further initiatives include efforts to promote diversity and inclusion and encourage investment in green energy as the UK moves towards its net zero goals in the financial services sector.

The Compliance Company was founded in 2013 by Ian Beardmore after the FCA took over as the UK’s financial regulator for consumer credit. It was one of the first consultancies to help companies comply with the demands of the new regime and is now one of the leading firms of its type in the UK. The business, which also offers e-learning courses, expects to create at least two new jobs in the coming months.

Ian Beardmore, founder, said: “As the regulatory landscape has undergone a major shake-up in recent years, our consultants have been helping companies to navigate the changes and operate in a compliant way. The company has been expanding steadily and the introduction of new standards will only create additional demand for our services.The funding from Mercia and NPIF will help us to take the business to the next level.”

Andy Clough of Mercia, said: “FCA regulation is vital to protect consumers but the rules can be a real burden to smaller businesses without a dedicated compliance specialist. The Compliance Company plays a valuable role in helping them to meet their obligations, and in supporting a vibrant financial services sector. The business is already one of the UK market leaders and the funding will help it to continue its growth and take advantage of new opportunities.”

Sean Hutchinson at British Business Bank, said: “There is an abundance of opportunities that access to finance can unlock for businesses in the North. With this loan, The Compliance Company is able to create new jobs and prepare for a surge in demand brought upon by new regulations. By supporting companies adapting to new market trends, NPIF is able to play a key role in the dynamic Northern business environment.”

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.



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Ian Beardmore, founder of The Compliance Company

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About The Compliance Company Since 2013, The Compliance Company has assisted thousands of clients with their FCA application and post-authorisation support. The business continues to provide retained compliance support and consultancy to around 350 clients, assisting them to maintain their ongoing compliance requirements and meet the FCA‘s threshold conditions.   About Mercia Asset Management PLC Mercia is a proactive, specialist asset manager focused on supporting regional SMEs to achieve their growth aspirations. Mercia provides capital across its four asset classes of balance sheet, venture, private equity and debt capital: the Group’s ‘Complete Connected Capital’. The Group initially nurtures businesses via its third-party funds under management, then over time Mercia can provide further funding to the most promising companies, by deploying direct investment follow-on capital from its own balance sheet.   The Group has a strong UK footprint through its regional offices, 19 university partnerships and extensive personal networks, providing it with access to high-quality deal flow. Mercia currently has c.£940million of assets under management and, since its IPO in December 2014, has invested c.£111million gross into its direct investment portfolio.   The Group raises its own Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) Funds and manages Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) details about open offers can be found through Mercia’s website. Mercia Asset Management PLC is quoted on AIM with the epic “MERC” and includes the following wholly owned subsidiaries –   Mercia Fund Management Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 524856 Enterprise Ventures Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 183363 EV Business Loans Limited is authorised and regulated by the FCA under firm reference number 443560   About The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund will invest in Microfinance, Business Loans and Equity Finance sub-funds which will offer financing ranging from £25,000 to £2m, specifically to help small and medium sized businesses secure the funding they need for growth and development. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is operated by British Business Financial Services Limited, wholly owned by British Business Bank, the UK’s national economic development bank. Established in November 2014, its mission is to make finance markets for smaller businesses work more effectively, enabling those businesses to prosper, grow and build UK economic activity. The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund is supported by the European Regional Development Fund, the European Investment Bank, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and British Business Finance Limited, a British Business Bank group company. The NPIF covers the following LEP areas: Tees Valley Combined Authority, Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Liverpool City Region, Lancashire, Hull and East Yorkshire, Leeds City Region, Sheffield City Region, and York & North Yorkshire The project is receiving up to £140,359,192 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Department for Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information visit The funds in which Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund invests are open to businesses with material operations, or planning to open material operations, in, Yorkshire and the Humber, the North West and Tees Valley. The British Business Bank has published the Business Finance Guide (in partnership with the ICAEW, and a further 21 business and finance organisations). The guide, which impartially sets out the range finance options available to businesses and provides links to support available at a regional level, is available at  

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