Understanding Alternative Finance

Tuesday November 10th saw the long awaited publication of the Nesta/University of Cambridge report Understanding Alternative Finance.

This is a detailed and hugely interesting piece of work and not just to those of us who occupy the world of AltFi. The detailed analysis of several differing forms of Alternative Finance gives the business owner an important, comparative resource for the first time.

Bryan Zhang (University of Cambridge researcher) and his team should be complimented on taking an enormous amount of data and providing us with a snapshot of this fast growing sector of finance, giving us a glimpse of its effectiveness from both the lender’s and borrower’s perspective.

For Clifton as a business it is also hugely important for another reason.

Pension-led funding, the business funding methodology that we have developed and continue to innovate is, for the first time, placed alongside others in the alternative funding space to allow for direct comparison. The result, I am pleased to report, is that we can be extremely proud of the outstanding feedback we have received from our clients.

81% of survey respondents said that they would be ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to recommend PLF to a business they know. 79% also said that they are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to approach PLF for funds in the future.

Over 2/3rds of our customers responding said that they would use PLF again, even if their bank offered them funds on similar terms.

These are statistics that count. These are the thoughts of our customers.

Over the next few weeks we will digest this report further and use the findings to help ourselves understand the changing landscape. We need to adapt, just like the large banks need to adapt. A greater acceptance of alternative funding by business owners is great.

More business for all.

But at the same time more funding offerings are springing up making the landscape much more competitive.

In this increasingly crowded market place our biggest challenge is to make sure that SME owners know that they have a choice, and that one of the choices they have is PLF.

More on this to follow.