Clifton honoured at industry awards ceremony

Bristol-based Clifton Asset Management was honoured at a prestigious industry award ceremony for the hugely-successful launch of the alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk (ABF) portal.
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The finance company was highly commended for Innovation in the SME Finance Sector at the Business Moneyfacts Awards in London on March 19.
The accolade was the latest in a successful month after CAM was named as one of the UK’s top disruptive SMEs in The Everline Future 50 Awards and also reached the finals of the Credit Today Awards – shortlisted for the Best Alternative Funding Provider Award.
CAM chairman Adam Tavener was highly instrumental in the launch of the ABF portal in March 2014.
Customers are signposted to the most appropriate source of non-bank funding by an interactive, user-friendly traffic light system.
With over 14,000 visits so far and 8,000 clicks through to a funder, an estimated 2,500 SMEs have successfully found funding through the portal since launch.
Chancellor George Osborne has announced that legislation is set to be introduced later this year to force banks to refer SMEs turned down for funding to alternative funding providers following lobbying by ABF.
ABF is widely recognised as a front runner to receive Treasury recognition.

Adam said:

[blockquote]“Although Clifton drove the development of the ABF portal, this accolade also recognises the other six founding funders, without whom this would not have been possible.
The portal has really gathered momentum since launch – finding funding solutions for around 2,500 businesses in just twelve months. This is testament to the speed and simplicity with which business owners can get an indication of the funding options open to them.”[/blockquote]

Great news

The announcement from George Osborne that legislation will be introduced so that banks match SMEs that have been rejected for loans with alternative finance providers, comes as no surprise to us, but is hugely welcome nonetheless.

From the outset, the principle behind our collaboration with other alternative funders was to provide a simple and safe journey for businesses to access quality alternative funding if they were not able to, or did not wish to, obtain finance from a main bank.

Our alternative business funding portal has been an outstanding success already, with thousands of businesses having already passed through the site to an appropriate funder. But, it was always designed to exist in an environment where banks and other significant credit providers were required absolutely to signpost rejected SME owners to the now vibrant alternative funding sector.

The confirmation from The Treasury that our initiative will, indeed, pass into legislation is both sensible and pragmatic.

What we are seeing is the first steps of a journey which will, ultimately and permanently, change the way small business owners access finance for growth going forward.

This is a very positive move for the economy and Clifton are proud to have played such a significant part in this and look forward to continuing our close work with The Treasury to ensure that what is finally delivered is simple, fair, transparent, but most of all gets real results.

In his statement George Osborne said: “Today I can announce that as part of the first ever Small Business Bill going through parliament, this government will legislate to require the big UK banks to pass on information on small businesses they reject for loans, so that FinTech companies and alternative lenders can step in and offer finance instead.

“So often a small business will be suitable for finance, but 70% only approach one bank and nearly 40% give up at the first attempt. Meaning many businesses just don’t get the finance they need.”

Great news indeed!