Amber Credit is to take on premium finance market leaders Prompt and Premium Credit with the launch of a non-recourse commercial product.

Amber released the new product today (October 4) in response to broker demands.

Non-recourse commercial products were previously only available from Prompt and Premium Credit.

Sales and marketing director Rob Fry said the product would open up Amber's market base.

“We have 1,000 brokers actively giving us business and they've been frustrated that we didn't offer such a product, so we're entering the market place with gusto,” he said.

Fry does not expect Amber's two biggest competitors to be immediately concerned.

“They see us as a small player, so they won't be bothered, but we're a terrier, snapping at their heels,” he said.

The new product offers automatic acceptance up to £50,000, as long as there is no adverse credit information registered against the business.

It is aimed at regional and smaller brokers.

However, Fry said Amber had some big deals in the pipeline, as part of its push to become a larger market force.

Amber's owner, Skipton Building Society, has put one of its most experienced executives, Barry Meeks, in charge of the company.

Meeks previously ran Skipton's largest subsidiary HML for eight years.

Financial director Neil Temple, operations director Rod Newman and Fry were also appointed recently.

Meeks said Amber was entering a new phase. “It's a very exciting time,” he said.

“We have new people, new direction, new products and a new determination throughout our organisation to provide the very best service and be successful.”

The premium finance market is worth about £3.5bn. Premium Credit holds at least £1.4bn of this, followed by Prompt with £1.1bn.

Singer & Friedlander and Finsure both have £500m shares of the market.

Amber hopes to have £100m by the end of the year.

Its business has grown 50% over the past year and Fry said it had budgeted for strong growth in the coming year.

Prompt chief executive Bob Golden said he was unconcerned by a new entry into the market.

“We welcome competition because it keeps us sharp,” he said. “We wish Amber good luck with the venture.”