August 6th, 2014

Plan to encourage bank referrals to alternative lenders is positive, but will be too late to help many businesses

“Osborne’s plan to require banks to refer rejected SME borrowers to alternative providers is good in principle, but part of the problem with banks is that they often take several months to approve or reject a loan application, compared to around two weeks for most alternative finance providers. As a result, many rejected businesses will have wasted three months already, and will often have missed the opportunity that they needed the money for.

“What is needed is greater awareness of alternative sources of finance at the application stage, so that businesses can make an informed decision before they invest significant time and effort into bank loan applications. Otherwise, we risk obstructing the growth and job creation necessary to create wealth and help to lead Britain well into a full recovery.

“So while we’d welcome it in principle, we’re also focusing on the present and doing our best to inform SMEs through as many channels as possible. We want them to be aware of all of the options available to them from the start – not just when the banks say ‘no'”.

Assetz Capital has now lent well over £40 million to UK SMEs and property developers in its first year or so, making it one of the fastest-growing P2P platforms in the world.