Adam Tavener, chairman of ABF

230 SMEs secure £3.8m from alternative lenders

Small businesses that struggle to access finance from the big banks have received almost £4m of funding from an innovative matchmaking scheme.

In total, 230 small businesses – which were rejected for loans by some of the UK’s biggest banks over the last nine months – have received £3.8m of funding from alternative lenders.

The government-backed bank referral scheme was launched in November 2016 with nine of the UK’s biggest banks assigned to pass on the details of small businesses they have turned down for loans to three SME finance platforms.

The three platforms – Funding Xchange, Business Finance Compared and Funding Options – would then share the details of the small businesses with alternative finance providers who would then facilitate a conversation between the business and any provider who showed an interest in supplying the finance.

Loans resulting from the scheme range from £200 to £500,000, with an average size of £16,000.

A fourth finance platform – Alternative Business Funding (ABF) – will join the scheme from 1st November 2017.

ABF is part of Clifton Asset Management, which has provided SME funding solutions for over 30 years.

“Small- and medium-sized businesses are the backbone of Britain’s economy and it is right they have access to a wide range of sources of finance,” said Stephen Barclay, economic secretary to the Treasury.

“Over 200 businesses from beauticians to forklift truck training firms have received the money that they need to grow and we expect this number to increase as the scheme matures.”

Adam Tavener, chairman of ABF (pictured above), added: “We’re delighted that HM Treasury has announced its intention to designate ABF to help deliver this hugely important scheme.

“The ABF team is looking forward to being placed at the heart of the process, to play a very active role in improving access to finance for the SME sector – widely recognised as the driving force of the UK economy.”

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