There is currently quite a lot of noise about alternative funding in the UK, specifically in the SME sector. In fact I’ll happily hold up my hand and say that we at Clifton Asset Management plc have been among the loudest of the drum-bangers in this regard, with our pension-led funding solution.
There is still a lot of work that needs to be done for the banks in this country to repair themselves, with some estimates talking of at least another decade.
This will require fixing balance sheets, complying with new capital requirements and other international restrictions, all carried out in a generally hostile environment and hitting some of the banks’ most profitable activities – speculative investing and trading.
And so this leaves a large and perplexing gap in the marketplace, one which many industries (witness this recent article in Construction News) are now acknowledging and grappling with.
But, with so many different ways of skinning this particular funding-hungry cat, how on earth can the harried business owner work his way through this field?
I have referred to one of my solutions in the past, effectively a clearing house to find appropriate funding options for business owners who have failed to convince their bank manager of their case.
I am pleased to say that as a result of my recent trip to Number 10, this has been received positively by the powers-that-be and I look forward to letting you know more about this as the weeks go by.
It is my belief that we will soon be able to do away with the label of alternative funding, as the variety of options available to business owners becomes clearer and those options are considered equally alongside those offered by the more traditional high street lenders.