Storm clouds are gathering and the traditional high street lenders are battening down their hatches, but there is some light in the alternative funding field.
Mandated bank referrals are buried on page 55 of the Budget document. HM Treasury confirmed that small firms that are rejected for finance by high street banks will now be able to access new options as Bizfitech, Funding Options and Funding Xchange will be designated as finance platforms to help match borrowers and alternative lenders.
On 1 April 2016 the government will designate the banks and Credit Reference Agencies (CRAs) that are within scope of the SME credit data regulations.
The Budget document states: “This will ensure CRAs will receive SME credit information from high street banks and provide equal access to this information to all finance providers.”
Adam Tavener, chairman of the Alternative Business Funding portal (ABF), welcomed the move: “This intention to designate really fires the starting gun in the process of delivering options and confidence for SMEs looking beyond their existing bank for financial support.
“As more platforms are added to the list so choice and diversity of offering will grow,” he said.