Blind date — matching SMEs with alternative finance providers

The recent Budget announced a raft of proposals, some new, some that we’ve already heard about, to try to improve access to finance, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). One of the proposals was to launch a consultation on matching SMEs rejected for finance by major banks with alternative lenders. The consultation has now been launched and looks at whether there should be legislation on this and, if so, how it should be dealt with.

The consultation is part of the government’s aim to improve access to finance for SMEs and to increase competition in the sector. According to government figures, at present the largest four banks account for over 80 per cent of UK SMEs’ main banking relationships. It follows on from the December consultation on bank sharing of credit data, aimed at improving access to credit data for challenger banks and alternative finance providers…

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