April 25, 2014 is an important watershed for UK businesses looking for finance. The date marks the end of a consultation process initiated by the government earlier this year. This consultation seeks views on whether the government should legislate to help match SMEs that have been rejected for loans, with alternative finance providers who are looking to offer finance.
Importantly, the consultation also asks questions about the mechanics of delivering such a measure should the government decide to legislate, and sets out the government’s preferred approach of requiring banks to refer details of SMEs that have been rejected for loans to a platform or platforms, so that they can be accessed by providers of alternative finance.
As I am sure you are aware, we have been championing such change for the last few years, and without indulging in knee-jerk bank bashing, we have been trying to turn the conversation with the big high street lenders in this more practical direction, by encouraging them to refer clients they can’t, or won’t, assist in the course of their normal operations.
While we have certainly achieved some success in this area, there is no doubt that a shove from the government will make a huge difference. With initiatives such as the alternativebusinessfunding.co.uk website, I am pleased to say that we have been at the forefront of a movement to bring non-bank financing options into the mainstream in the UK business community.
With this consultation now drawing to a close, it is platforms such as this that will allow business owners to get easy access to real choice in their financing that they have for so long been denied.